In a candid chat with CS, Pankaj gets nostalgic about his childhood and some of his fascinations:
A badmaash baccha
I might come across as a very calm and composed person, but as a kid I was a complete contrast to my present self. I was a very naughty kid. From stealing mangoes to climbing trees and getting into kite fights, I have done it all. The funny thing is that when I tell these to my kids, they just find them hard to believe.
Bomb, boom, burst
I love bursting crackers on Diwali. When I was eight years old, we lived in Rajkot. One of my friends had taught me the trick of lighting a bomb inside a tin dabba. It was a novel thing, and I kept doing it continuously. On the fourth day of Diwali, I lit this bomb with a tin cover on it. The bomb was taking time to explode, and I like an impatient kid went to check whether the bomb was defused or what. But the bomb exploded the minute I got closer and the tin hit my forehead. I still have that mark.
Many people feel that I dreamt of becoming a singer from my childhood days. But that’s not true. I wanted to be a doctor. Trust me, I was preparing for it in right earnest. But then, I became a singer and my dream remained unfulfilled. But I am still passionate about medicine and medical science. I stay updated with all the new developments in the field. In fact, I am a self- proclaimed 80 per cent doctor and the general physician of my family.
The real drive
I am a sucker for cars. Cars have always made me go nuts. My dad was a government employee and had a jeep. He would never allow me to even go close to it, as it was his prized possession. My dad gifted me a bicycle to make me happy, but I still had this dream for cars. The first thing I bought my earnings was a car. My first car was a Fiat 1951 model. I am very attached to it till date. Even though I own cars in newer models, I still take that old car out for a ride once in a while. Driving is my biggest stress-buster.