Aanjjan Srivastav is a veteran Indian Stage, Film and Television Actor. He was born on June 2, 1948 in Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta) to a household from Uttar Pradesh. His father is a banker who worked at the Allahabad Bank in Kolkata. He studied Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws at Calcutta University. From there, shifted his focus to acting by joining Theatre Groups in the year 1968 while doing plays at All India Radio.
His father wanted him to work at the Allahabad Bank while doing plays simultaneously. But when his sister died in 1976, his father finally allowed him to move to Mumbai and pursue his acting career moreover. Shortly after his arrival to Mumbai, the actor instantly participated in Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and joined in a variety of their productions. Initially, Aanjjan worked as a General Secretary in IPTA. Later, he became the Vice President of the Association. Apart from that, he also worked in one of the Best Theatre in Mumbai, the Prithvi Theatre.
He started his career by doing Bengali plays such as Neel Darpan and Anwar. His contribution to IPTA includes M.S. Sathyu’s Safaid Kundali or The Caucassion Chalk Circle and other Popular Social Stage Plays under the same theatre group. Subsequently, after working in theatre, he started to appear in the silver screen. He appeared in Saza-E-Maut and bagged the role of Police Officer Sharma in the Bollywood comedy film, Gol Maal in 1979. Aanjjan appeared in the 1985 Hindi film Ghulami as Bade Thakur’s (played by
Om Shivpuri) Munim. Later, the actor moved to the small screen and played various characters in
Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. He continued to act in notable television series like the period television film,
Tamas and DD National’s
Nukkad. He was also seen in the popular 1986 series,
Katha Sagar. In the year 1987, he finally acted in a lead comic role in the serial,
Wagle Ki Duniya by R.K. Laxman which earned him the needed fame. Aanjjan was also part of the epic television series, Discovery of India by Shyam Benegal.
This Brilliant Actor acted in more than 127 Hindi films. He was seen as the father of Sunil (played by
Shah Rukh Khan) in the Bollywood film, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa released in 1994. He was also a part of the 2007 Hindi sports film, Chak De! India as Mr.Tripathi, the Head Official of a Hockey Team. He was also seen in the Bollywood comedy movie, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman in 1992. In 2005, Aanjjan joined the cast of the Hindi comedy film,
No Entry. He also starred in Raat by M.S. Sathyu which is based on the renowned play, Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman. He was also a part of the notable play, Moteram Ka Satyagrah. He was well-known in the Marathi and Hindi industries. He has acted in Salaam Bombay! and the Box-Office Romantic Drama Film Mississippi Masala. Both films were under the direction of the popular, Mira Nair.
Aanjjan continued working as a bank employee all through his career in acting. He retired in the year 2001. He is married with a daughter, twins and later, he had another boy and a girl. Two of them were also seeking for a place in the acting industry.
Another version of this story...
Aanjjan Srivastav was born in Kolkata and spent a considerable pat of his life there. His parents had been staying in Kolkata for long, although being basically from Uttar Pradesh. His father was enamoured of the Bengali influence, and wanted his son also to imbibe the same. So, it was in Kolkata that Aanjjan started participating in local Hindi and Bengali theatre groups from 1968, and also took part in plays over All India Radio, Kolkata. Before that he had also completed his education, obtaining his Commerce and Law degrees, and then like his father, joined the Allahabad Bank, which had its Head Office in Kolkata itself.
Being with the theatre fraternity enabled him to also do a short role in the Bengali film “Chameli Mem Shaeb” followed by a few other screen roles in Bengali cinema after this. His name spread and before late he was seen acting with the noted theatre groups of Kolkata, like Adakar, Sangeet Kala Mandir and Kala Bhavan. At this time, Aanjjan was itching to spread his wings further in the theatre world and moved to Mumbai, but this happened only in 1976 when his father did not come in his way to seek a transfer. He immediately joined the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) as well as the famous Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai, almost as if continuing his theatre career which had started in Kolkata. The most notable of his theatre contributions in Mumbai was “Safaid Kundali” by M.S. Sathyu.
Besides being busy with theatre, he also landed up in quite a few movie and TV roles, most notable being “
Golmaal” and “Ghulami” on the silver screen and “Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi”, “Tamas”, “Nukkad”, and “Wagle Ki Duniya” based on R.K. Laxman's common man. His exploits on the small as well as big screen are too large to be recounted individually, but suffice to say that he is recognized as one of our finest actors, who has imbibed the best of theatre from the regional theatres of Maharashtra and Bengal, and contributed hugely in all spheres of acting through his easy going and convincing manner, always equating himself with the ordinary audience without appearing too sophisticated.