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Kalki Koechlin on her struggle: I worked as waitress, taught in schools to sustain myself

Kalki Koechlin has spoken about feeling like an outsider, struggle for getting work and life after divorcing husband Anurag Kashyap in an empowering Humans of Bombay post.

bollywood Updated: Mar 20, 2019 12:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Kalki Koechlin,Humans of Bombay,Anurag Kashyap
Kalki Koechlin speaks about her struggle to survive in the film industry.

Actor Kalki Koechlin, one of the finest talents working in the film industry today, has given an insight into her life and craft in a new Humans of Bombay post. The actor, who has spoken about feeling like an outsider in the past as well, said, “I had an amazing childhood. For the most part, I was never aware that I was ‘white’. I didn’t feel like an outsider until much later. As I grew up, I noticed the difference. When I was a teenager, my friends & I would go on trips to the beach & people would approach me to buy drugs. I also had a nagging fear that I was being hit on because people thought I didn’t follow Indian customs.”

She also revealed that there were two years after her debut in Dev D that she had no work. “After countless tries, I finally got my first role in DevD. But that wasn’t enough to guarantee more work. For 2 years I had no offers. But I didn’t give up, I kept writing and acting in my own plays and in 2011 I had 4 movie releases,” she is quoted as saying in the post.

Kalki also spoke about the pressure of working in the film industry. “The struggles never really end. When my ex-husband and I separated, I had to deal with the rumors. Every time I stepped out with a man, the media thought we were dating. Journalists would ask how my life was post-divorce, how was I handling my career and balancing it? Even concerned neighbours would ask my parents such questions. But I chose to ignore it,” she said.

You can read Kalki’s post from Humans of Bombay below…

My father hitchhiked from France to India & while he was living here, he met my mother. When they started a family, they were very much the locals of the city. My father taught hang gliding, while my mom taught French. I had an amazing childhood. For the most part, I was never aware that I was ‘white’. I didn’t feel like an outsider until much later. As I grew up, I noticed the difference. When I was a teenager, my friends & I would go on trips to the beach & people would approach me to buy drugs. I also had a nagging fear that I was being hit on because people thought I didn’t follow Indian customs. So I’d be extra nice with the aunties–make sure they knew I was just like my friends. As the years went by I realised I wanted to be an actor & went abroad to study. To sustain myself, I worked as a waitress & taught in schools while trying to juggle plays. Once I knew I was ready–I moved back home.

I started going for auditions, I’d even carry an extra pair of clothes everywhere. But it was hard. I got many rejections & was typecast. After countless tries I finally got my first role in DevD! But that wasn’t enough to guarantee more work. For 2 years I had no offers. But I didn’t give up, I kept writing & acting in my own plays. And in 2011 I had 4 movie releases!

The struggles never really end. When my ex-husband & I separated, I had to deal with the rumors. Everytime I stepped out with a man, the media thought we were dating. Journalists would ask how my life was post-divorce, how was I handling my career & balancing it? Even concerned neighbours would ask my parents such questions. But I chose to ignore it.

So through all of this, I’ve learnt that the struggle is on-going. It can find you anywhere. But life goes on, you think it’s the end of the world just because something terrible happens, but you know you can deal with it. It will pass and tomorrow it will take care of itself! But it’s amazing what you can get through! You sleep it off & begin again.”

First Published: Mar 20, 2019 12:20 IST