‘Outsiders Weren’t Welcome’: Anurag Kashyap Once Worked as a Waiter and it Had to Do With Nepotism

Image credit: Josh Talks / YouTube.

Image credit: Josh Talks / YouTube.

Anurag Kashyap, who celebrates his 48th birthday on September 10, was an ‘outsider’ and didn’t have a rosy start in Bollywood.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: September 10, 2020, 2:28 PM IST

The raging nepotism debate that you see on your social media timelines today has been prevalent in Bollywood for decades. While Kangana Ranaut has been quite vocal about it for a while, industry ‘big wigs’ such as Karan Johar and ‘star kids’ were recently (and perhaps a tad unduly) put in a spot after “outsider” Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise. But the fact that those who do not belong to influential film families face hardships to make it big in the business is undeniable.

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who celebrates his 48th birthday on Thursday, can vouch for that.

A Hansraj college graduate, Kashyap was bit by the ‘filmi keeda’ sometime in the early 90’s. Hailing from Gorakhpur, Kashyap has since been credited with making some exceptional and critically acclaimed films including Satya, Black Friday, Dev.D, Gulaal, Gangs of Wasseypur, Raman Raghav 2.0.

While Kashyap may be a household name now, that wasn’t always the case. Because he was an “outsider” too with no godparents in the industry.

Kashyap who aspired to be a scientist took the big leap and moved to Mumbai after his interest in the theatre and cinema grew. It was only when he landed in the heart of Bollywood that he realised it was a long road ahead. In fact, some of his earliest work in daily soaps like Shanti and Swabhimaan didn’t even carry his name in the credit roll. It was his voluntary decision.

“I reached Bombay, and the only place I knew was Prithvi theatre,” Kashyap said while recalling his journey on Josh Talks back in 2016. He added that the scene around was “controlled” and those who weren’t a part of the theatre group had to wait outside.

“That was a time when there we no studios, cinema was mostly controlled by few film families. And if you weren’t from the film families, you couldn’t get in.”

“Being a scientific mind I realised that the problem everybody has is they are very insecure,” he said adding that outsiders weren’t welcome as they felt that an outsider would take what they had.

He quipped that Indians had a habit of getting things for free and nobody wanted to pay for anything– something he benefited from to break into the scene.

It was then that the filmmaker decided to get enrolled at the Prithvi Cafe as a waiter, despite all the qualifications he had on his resume so as to spend more time there and get to know the people in his surroundings.

“I would sweep the stage, I started reading for people, I could write very fast,” Kashyap revealed adding that he could write 100 pages a day. At a time when daily soaps were just coming up and faced a problem of not being able to generate quick episodes, speed worked in his favour. Kashyap wrote for the serials without expecting any credit or monetary assistance in return.

Ram Gopal Varma’s 1998’s Satya was Kashyap’s major breakthrough work in Bollywood and he hasn’t looked back ever since.


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