UNCOMMON COMMON MAN "
He is the quintessential common man. And he made his mark
playing that role in a TV series that characterised The
Times of India cartooning legend R.K. Laxman's creation.
Anjan Shrivastav was a public sector bank employee who lived
and breathed theatre in the eighties when the role of the
common man for the series Wagle Ki Duniya came his way.
And he has not looked back since.
to his innate histrionic talent, today Shrivastav is not
just a TV artiste but has progressed to the big screen too.
His performances have always been noteworthy, especially
where he portrayed a morally strong father.
however, has not had it easy. Despite having the desire
to act from an early age, he was not permitted to do so
by a strict father. Says he: "My father did not want any
acting of any kind in his family."
Shrivastav opted to complete his B.Com and even acquired
an LLB from Calcutta University. His father relented and
gave him the go-ahead to seek his acting fortune after the
tragic death of his daughter. So at 30, the West Bengal
denizen began pursuing what he wanted most in life. He started
with a theatre group in Calcutta.
was already working in Allahabad Bank when he decided to
move to Bombay to try his luck at breaking into the theatre
circuit there. He applied for a transfer and moved to Mumbai.
The bank took six months to complete the formalities of
his transfer and he was without a salary for that length
of time. Additionally, he recalls that there were times
when he did not know where his next meal would come from
as the money which otherwise used to last for a month now
got over in 25 days "but the actor in me never died," he
reveals. "I kept going. My life and passion is theatre."
says he balanced his bank job, theatre, films and television
without any difficulty and of course the credit for this
goes to his friends everywhere who helped him through the
difficult patches. Among them figure Amitabh Bachchan and
Jackie Shroff. He recently retired from the bank after 31
years of service.
the films he has acted in are: Golmal, Bemisal,
Khuda Gawah and Pukar. And the television
series that he has gained acclaim for are: Tamas, Nukkad,
AND Alpaviram, Wagle Ki Nayi Duniya.
is a family man and a father of 17-year-old twins (a boy
and a girl) and a seven-year-old daughter. He is a firm
believer in Mohanannad Brahamachari of Calcutta. So much
so that he has dedicated his master bedroom by making it
the 'Poojasthan'. "I wouldn't have been able to make
it without my guru's blessing," he admits.
Shrivastav is extremely keen to set up his own web site
providing information about himself to fans across India
and globally. Besides acting on stage and the big screen,
he keeps himself busy at the Indian People's Theatre Association
(IPTA) as he is its vice-president. His commitment to theatre
can be seen from the fact that he is willing to work for
just Rs10 in a play while his charges are Rs500,000 for
20 days of filming for a Hindi movie, and Rs30,0000 per
episode on television. With the high level of commitment
that he has can we also lable Shrivastav the Uncommon Man?
Interview of Anjan Shrivastava