Rajkummar Rao Recalls Dire Realities He Faced During His Struggling Days: 'Was Left With Only Rs.18'

Rajkummar Rao recalls the harsh realities he faced during the initial few years of his career, as he struggled to make a name with his craft.


By Srijony Das Last Updated:


Rajkummar Rao Recalls Dire Realities He Faced During His Struggling Days: 'Was Left With Only Rs.18'

Rajkummar Rao is one of the most versatile and talented actors of his generation in Bollywood. Hailing from a small family in Haryana, and was extensively involved in theatre in his college, as well as at the Shri Ram Centre. Rajkummar then pursued a two-year long acting course at the FTII, post which he bagged his first break with the film, Love Sex Aur Dhokha. Thereafter, there had been no turning back for him, and Rajkummar went on to successively deliver critically appreciated films at the box-office. In his personal life, the actor is married to Patralekhaa Paul.

Rajkummar Rao revealed he was left with Rs. 18 only in his bank account while he struggled for work

In a candid interaction with Ranveer Allahabadia recently, Rajkummar Rao walked down the memory lane and recalled situations of stark financial crisis he faced, as he struggled to make a career in Mumbai. He recalled how there was a time when he only had Rs. 18 left in his bank account, and on most times, he ended up skipping lunch and consuming a packet of Parle G biscuits and Frooti to quench his hunger. Moreover, he credited his mother, for supporting him frequently, as she used to send him additional funds whenever required. He narrated:

“The most difficult time was facing financial difficulty and getting no work. My mother supported me a lot and when I would run out of money, she would arrange it and send. I remember once I was left with only Rs 18 in my account and that too in a city like Mumbai. I used to spend very frugally. We three used to live in one flat and I used to skip lunch and have one Parle Ji and Frooti for lunch. My lunch would cost me Rs 4 at the time.”

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Rajkummar remarks how his batchmates offered him food on days he had no money

Moving forth in the conversation, Rajkummar Rao then talked about the day when he was left with just Rs. 18, and was completely clueless about arranging for a meal for himself. He mentioned how he ended up calling several of his batchmates at the FTII, and asking them if they could spare him some food for dinner. In his words:

“Now, the day I was left with only Rs 18, I was thinking what will I do? We have a FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) committee in Mumbai. A lot of our seniors and juniors live here. So, you can ring anybody and ask them what are they having for dinner and if you can come.”


Rajkummar says he used to listen to motivational songs on his walkman to keep up his spirit

In the concluding segment of the interaction, Rajkummar talked about how he landed up in the Shri Ram Centre, an acting school, when he was 18. He then mentioned how people suggested him to join college and arrange a bus pass for himself, that would make his travel cheaper. However, he wasn’t aware about it for the longest, and ended up cycling 70 kilometres every day. Adding how listening to motivational Hindi songs helped him during these tough journeys, he said:

“I started preparing to become an actor after school. After completing school, I joined Sri Ram Centre in Delhi, it’s an acting school. I was 18 at the time. So, somebody told me to join college for graduation so that I can get a bus pass. In that way you can save money. I got to know this very late. Before that I used to go to the acting school on bicycle and would ride the cycle for 70 kms up and down. I would hear songs like Lakshya Ko Har Haal Me Pana Hai, Papa Kahte Hain and all on my walkman on my way there. It sounds filmy now but it used to be a lot of fun.”

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When Rajkummar Rao revealed he bought groceries from his first salary in 8th standard

Previously, in a candid chat with comedian, Zakir Khan, Rajkummar Rao recalled the first income he brought home, an amount of Rs. 300 in the form of the remuneration he got upon tutoring a small girl at her house. He remembered that the first time he got home his salary, he straight up spent it on buying groceries and handing it over to his family.


What do you think about Rajkummar Rao’s revelations?

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