Outside of Kanpur, through Kannauj, is the little quaint town of Terua, where Rakesh Veda Ji is from. We begin with this small, rather humorous anecdote that Rakesh Ji recites. 15 kilometers away from his home was a qasbah, or, fortress, where Rakesh Ji would wind down after a long day at school. He vividly remembers eating paan and other delights at the local stalls, however one day, a stranger approached him. The man had a friendly conversation with young Rakesh Ji, like father and son, asking where he went to school and things as such. Then the question came up : What’s your name? Rakesh Ji thought: Easy, Rakesh, however when the man asked for Rakesh Ji’s surname, he went blank. He consistently just kept saying his full name was Rakesh because he simply didn’t know his last name. After that incident, Rakesh Ji went on a yatra, or a pilgrimage for dharmic religions, where he had to fill out a form with his first name and surname, yet again. When Rakesh Ji asked the man who was helping what he should put as his surname, the man just said “Veda”, at the top of his head, out of nowhere. Rakesh Veda, has a nice ring to it right? After Rakesh Ji finally got his name settled, he moved to Lucknow in 1969 to attend college. After college, Rakesh Ji started working in a bank, but on the side, he had quite the hobby of writing small stories. However his career took a sharp turn in 1977 when one of Rakesh Ji’s respected elders was hospitalized. When Rakesh Ji visited him in the hospital, he met with his elder’s co-workers at IPTA, or Indian People’s Theater Organization. Rakesh Ji initially had no interest in joining IPTA, however after talking about working at IPTA with some employees, Rakesh Ji realized that this would be a great way to practice his passion for writing, through on-stage dramas. He read a sample story that the IPTA producers created, and let’s just say, it was love at first sight. The story took place in 1994 and the plot was centered around The Partition of India, it was called Sapn Marta Nahi. Rakesh Ji was tasked with turning this story into a live-action drama, and so he did. The drama was such a success and so enjoyable for Rakesh Ji that he decided to work at IPTA full-time and truly pursue his real passion for theater, not banking.