I’m not a romantic person at all!’

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NEHA DHUPIA, Actor

What’s your earliest memory?
When I think of my childhood, I always think of the ocean and of my parents. My dad was in the Navy and I grew up in Kochi in Kerala and all I remember of that time is the ocean and me screaming a lot. I was a complete brat.

How has your family influenced you?
My mother was very protective of me. She was very conservative but my dad was liberal and at the same time disciplined. I had a very nourishing and protected upbringing. They balanced each other out. I guess that’s the case in most nuclear families. My brother is 10 months older than I am so we are like twins. We would study together and he understands me better than most of my friends do.

What’s your greatest fear?
Losing my loved ones. I used to be very scared of dogs. I helped myself overcome this fear. Two weeks ago, I looked after a puppy for a friend who was traveling. That pup brought so much joy that it helped me get over my fear. Now, if I see a dog on the road, I’m not affected. But I’d still not keep a dog as a pet because I’m really fanatic about cleanliness. Also, I have a huge collection of shoes and a dog would chew them up. I don’t think I want to compromise on that!

What would you change about yourself?
I wish my hair wasn’t so straight and I wish I could sing. I know it would be a big loss to Bollywood but maybe they’d all be, like, “Who is this cute rock star?” Then, I wish I could change my obsession with working out. If I have four hours in Delhi with my family, I’ll spend two hours working out in the gym! I’m a big bore. When there’s a party, at first, I’m all excited but eventually, I get sleepy.

Are you religious?
I’m very religious. I believe God is everywhere. I go to Tirupati, and I think it is as powerful as the Golden Temple and Shirdi. I don’t believe in a single faith but I am religious.

What’s your take on love and marriage?
It’s great to be in love. When the time is right, marriage will happen. I think people overthink it. Nothing changes once you get married and that’s the way it should be. Marriage is overrated and blown out of proportion. Love is reason enough to get married and it’s reason enough not to get married too. You’re probably getting boring answers because I’m not a romantic person at all!

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