By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
Aanjjan Srivastav, one of India's most respected actors, turned 75 on June 2, 2023. He is often regarded as one of the most underrated actors ever in the history of Indian cinema. Despite being in the industry for so many decades and being a part of a series of hit films, he hardly got the recognition he deserved. It was back in 1979 when he made his acting debut in the film, Gol Maal, and the rest is history that keeps on expanding. In 2021, Aanjjan was seen in the film, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, which proved that even after working for decades as an actor, he still has so much in him to contribute to Indian cinema.
In a recent interview with The Indian Express, Aanjjan Srivastav also revealed that he used to work in a bank for most part of his acting career. The actor recalled the initial phase of his acting journey and how for almost 31 years, he had worked as a banker in the day and did theatre in the evening. Recalling the same, Aanjjan revealed that when he told his father about his passion for acting, he advised him not to leave his job. The actor also agreed to his father’s advice as they weren’t financially sound back at that time. Sharing his struggling story, he said:
"I was a banker and simultaneously did theatre, this was in 1968. I was a very good worker in Allahabad Bank, which then became Indian Bank. I worked at the bank for 31 years. I used to be a banker in the day and an actor by evening. I wanted to be an actor but my father suggested that I shouldn’t give up on my bank job, so I gave up my promotions and held my service because I loved both my jobs equally."
In the same interview, Aanjjan Srivastav opened up about working with Shah Rukh Khan in a series of films like Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Chak De India!, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, and more. Recalling the old days, when Shah Rukh worked with him in an episode of Wagle Ki Duniya, Aanjjan shared that he knows SRK from his early days in the industry.
Sharing his thoughts about the kind of co-star he is, Aanjjan Srivastav admitted that he is extremely happy for Shah Rukh Khan to reach the heights he has achieved in his career. But Aanjjan also admitted that he has never contacted SRK for any work, despite knowing him since the beginning of his career. The veteran actor called Shah Rukh ‘The Sweetest’ as he revealed how they once ran into each other, and the latter came out of his car and greeted him with respect and love. He explained:
"I have known him from his early days, and I am very happy for where he has reached. But I had maintained that I would not go and ask for work just because I have worked with someone before. Shah Rukh has always been the sweetest. Once, before Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, we ran into each other, I was walking and a car came up to me and flashed its headlight. It was SRK; he got down from the car and met me."
Further in the interview, Aanjjan Srivastav also added that Shah Rukh Khan gave him his pager number, but he never contacted him for work. But SRK himself contacted Aanjjan for a role in Chak De India!. Recalling the same, he said:
"He asked me where I have been and what I was doing. He also asked me why I was not keeping in touch with him, so I said I had no means of contacting him. ‘Where do I contact you?’ so he went to a pan shop nearby, got a piece of paper and wrote down his pager number, saying he’ll be directly available on it. I never contacted him for work, but then he called me for Chak De India."
In the same interview, Aanjjan Srivastav also talked about his experience of working with Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan. The actor recalled the days when he worked with Salman in the film, Yuvvraaj. Opening up about the same, Aanjjan called Salman an extremely cultured person and admitted that he is a well-behaved boy.
The veteran revealed that Salman used to greet and meet all the senior actors, who were present on the sets, without any airs. He also added that both Salman and Shah Rukh Khan are ‘good boys’, as they’re still approachable despite reaching the pinnacles of success in their respective careers. Aanjjan stated:
"Salman too is a very cultured and well-behaved boy. We worked in Yuvraj together and he gets up to meet senior actors on set, respects all and talks to everyone without any airs. So it has been a great experience working with all of them and it feels good that these actors (Salman and Shah Rukh) who have become stars are still approachable and talk to other actors like they always used to. They don’t forget people."
What are your thoughts on Aanjjan Srivastav’s revelations about working as a banker and as an actor simultaneously for 31 long years? Let us know.