I did not have a place to stay in Mumbai. I stayed at Mumbai Central station for 14 days. I would stop at every station and look for the cheapest place to stay in. I came across Deepak Guesthouse in Goregaon (northwest Mumbai). It was a nice, clean and cheap place. Besides, the name pretty much decided that I would stay there! I shared the room with six men. It was more like a dormitory. It cost me Rs 7 a night.
I got robbed once at the guesthouse. One of the guys living there knew I had a cassette player. He took it when I wasn't around.
My uncle (journalist) Kuldip Nayar had written a letter to (filmmaker) O P Ralhan to include me in his production team. I worked with him in Pyaas (starring Zeenat Aman). Saroj Khan was the choreographer of the film. Later, she worked with me in Bride And Prejudice.
In Pyaas, my job was to whistle every time they wanted to stop the dance. Once I blew the whistle at the wrong time, and everyone stopped dancing. Saroj looked at me with daggers in her eyes!
I did not get paid for the seven or eight months that I worked there. I lived off the Rs 500 my parents sent as a monthly stipend.
Nayar outside Prithvi Theatre, his old workplace.