I am a proud alumnus of the Mothers International School and passed out with Science subjects in 1976. I later did Economics from KM College and Delhi School of Economics, MBA (HR), and finally L.L.B. I am at present the Member Staff, Railway Board and ex-officio Secretary to Govt. of India. I have a keen interest in Railway Heritage and History and also write on the subject.
Kaun Banega Crorepati was a landmark event in my life. The process started with a telephone call after my phone number was randomly selected out of the various callers. I was asked two questions, which I answered correctly. Four days later, I received another call in which 4 questions were asked. These too, I answered correctly. Two days later, I received a call with the good news that I was one of the 10 participants for the 43rd episode of KBC. Now all that remained between the Hot Seat and me was ‘Fastest Finger First’ (FFF).
The organizers arranged the tickets and accommodation for me and my wife. The recording took place at Film City in Mumbai on March 25, 2007. We practiced dummy rounds of FFF on the sets itself. I knew that I had only one young girl to compete with. It was my luck that I made it. I was too nervous when my name was announced. Shahrukh immediately went and brought me a glass of water. What a personality he is! Full of energy- laughing, blowing kisses to his fans who constituted the majority of the audience and pepping up the crew.
And then it began. The preliminary introductions and the game started. There were no retakes. It is all live recording. My immediate concern was to answer correctly. Money was not in my mind at that time. It would have been a shame had I flopped before Rs.6.40 lakhs. Luckily the first episode went by smoothly.
Shahrukh Khan is a great guy. He makes you feel totally at ease. We chatted and shared jokes during breaks. I went on and on till the last question. Frankly, I could have answered it by logic but by then I had won Rs 50 lakhs and the risk was too much. So I backed out. Had I not done so, nobody would have pardoned me, most of all my wife.
It still feels like a dream – my brief brush with celebrity status. I thank all of you and most of all the almighty for making it possible. Mrs Pillay knows that I loved GK quizzes and I stand vindicated.