He is the quintessential common man. And he made his mark playing that role in a TV series that characterised The Times of India cartooning legend R.K. Laxman’s creation. Anjan Shrivastav was a public sector bank employee who lived and breathed theatre in the eighties when the role of the common man for the series Wagle Ki Duniya came his way. And he has not looked back since.

Thanks to his innate histrionic talent, today Shrivastav is not just a TV artiste but has progressed to the big screen too. His performances have always been noteworthy, especially where he portrayed a morally strong father.

Shrivastav, however, has not had it easy. Despite having the desire to act from an early age, he was not permitted to do so by a strict father. Says he: “My father did not want any acting of any kind in his family.”

So Shrivastav opted to complete his B.Com and even acquired an LLB from Calcutta University. His father relented and gave him the go-ahead to seek his acting fortune after the tragic death of his daughter. So at 30, the West Bengal denizen began pursuing what he wanted most in life. He started with a theatre group in Calcutta.

He was already working in Allahabad Bank when he decided to move to Bombay to try his luck at breaking into the theatre circuit there. He applied for a transfer and moved to Mumbai. The bank took six months to complete the formalities of his transfer and he was without a salary for that length of time. Additionally, he recalls that there were times when he did not know where his next meal would come from as the money which otherwise used to last for a month now got over in 25 days “but the actor in me never died,” he reveals. “I kept going. My life and passion is theatre.”

He says he balanced his bank job, theatre, films and television without any difficulty and of course the credit for this goes to his friends everywhere who helped him through the difficult patches. Among them figure Amitabh Bachchan and Jackie Shroff. He recently retired from the bank after 31 years of service.

Among the films he has acted in are: Golmal, Bemisal, Khuda Gawah and Pukar. And the television series that he has gained acclaim for are: Tamas, Nukkad, AND Alpaviram, Wagle Ki Nayi Duniya.

Shrivastava is a family man and a father of 17-year-old twins (a boy and a girl) and a seven-year-old daughter. He is a firm believer in Mohanannad Brahamachari of Calcutta. So much so that he has dedicated his master bedroom by making it the ‘Poojasthan’. “I wouldn’t have been able to make it without my guru’s blessing,” he admits.

Shrivastav is extremely keen to set up his own web site providing information about himself to fans across India and globally. Besides acting on stage and the big screen, he keeps himself busy at the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) as he is its vice-president. His commitment to theatre can be seen from the fact that he is willing to work for just Rs10 in a play while his charges are Rs500,000 for 20 days of filming for a Hindi movie, and Rs30,0000 per episode on television. With the high level of commitment that he has can we also lable Shrivastav the Uncommon Man.

 

Theatre Done By Aanjjan Srivastev

  • 1967–1978 Kayakalp Sushila Mishra Bengali
  • 1967–1978 Baati Ghar Bijon Chatterjee Bengali
  • 1967–1978 The Chinese Wall Sushila Mishra Bengali
  • 1967–1978 The Good Woman of Setzuan Shyamaland Jalan – Brecht’s Bengali
  • 1978–present The Ghost (Ateet Ki Parchaaiyan) R. M. Singh – Ibsen’s Hindi
  • 2000 Bakri M. S. Sathyu – Saxena’s Hindi
  • 1978 Hum Farishtey Nahin Javed Khan Hindi
  • 1979 Aap Kaun Hai, Kya Karte Hai, Kya Karna Chahte Hai Baasu Bhattacharya (adaptation)
  • 1979–1980 The Caucassion chalk circle as Sufaid Kundali M. S. Sathyu – Brecht’s Hindi
  • 1980 Dande Ka Ghoda M. S. Sathyu- Brecht’s Hindi
  • 1983 Lok Katha Ramesh Talwar Hindi
  • 1983 Rakshas M. S. Sathyu Hindi
  • 1985 Ek Aur Dronacharya S. Dangayach – Dr. Shankar Shesh’s Hindi
  • 1984 The Dragon as Rakshas M. S. Sathyu Hindi
  • 1986 Rajdarshan Waman Kendre Hindi
  • 1987 Saiyyan Bhaye Kotwal Waman Kendre Hindi
  • 1989–90 Moteram Ka Satyagraha M. S. Sathyu – Premchand’s Hindi
  • 1989 Aakhri Peshi Jaspal Sandhu Hindi
  • 1991–92 Temp Me Not Waman Kendre Hindi
  • 1999 Shatranj Ke Mohre Ramesh Talwar – P. L. Deshpande’s Hindi
  • 1999 Ek Mamooli Aadmi Raman Kumar – Akiru Kurusawa’s Ikiru Hindi
  • 2000 Kurukshetra Se Kargil Tak M. S. Sathyu – K. V. Puttappa Hindi
  • 2001 Surya Ke Waris Jaydev Hattangady Hindi
  • 2002 Tajmahal Ka Tender Salim Arif Hindi
  • 2002 Aakhri Shama M. S. Sathyu – Kaifi Azmi’s Urdu
  • 2002 Raat (Based on 1994 Mystery Death & the Maiden) M. S. Sathyu – Javed Siddiqui Hindi
  • 2002 Doodh King Jha Hindi
  • 2004 Kashmakash (Based on Bengali Play Tamrapatra) Ramesh Talwar Hindi/ Bengali
  • 2007 Orange Juice Hindi
  • 2007 Hum Deewane Hum Parwane Ramesh Talwar Hindi/Urdu
  • 2013 Darindey: The Villains Ramesh Talwar Hindi
  • 2012–13 Rishton Ka Live Telecast Prasad Khandekar (Non IPTA production) Hindi
  • 2017 Ek Aur Dronacharya (Revived) S. Dangayach – Dr. Shankar Shesh’s Hindi
  • 2017 Ek Mamuli Aadmi (Revived) Raman Kumar (AShok Lal) Hindi
  • 2017 Bakri (revived) M. S. Sathyu Hindi

 

Television  Done By Aanjjan Srivastev

  • Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984)
  • Nukkad (1986–1988)
  • Bharat Ek Khoj (1988)
  • Wagle Ki Duniya (1988–1990) as Wagle
  • Naya Nukkad (1993-1994)
  • Paltan (1997)
  • Alpviram (1998) as Amrita’s grandfather
  • Bhanwar (1998–1999)
  • Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki (2005)
  • Virrudh (2007-2008) as Pandeyji
  • Mrs. & Mr. Sharma Allahabadwale (2010) as Sarveshwarprasad Mukteshwarprasad Sharma
  • Na Bole Tum… Na Maine Kuch Kaha (2012) as Vedkant Vyas
  • Samvidhaan (2014) as Pandit Balkrishna Sharma
  • Chandrashekhar (2018) as Lala Lajpat Rai

 

Films Done By Aanjjan Srivastev

  • Gol Maal (1979) (Constable)
  • Sazaye Maut (1981)
  • Bharat Ek Khoj (discovery of India) Young age Chandragupta Maurya
  • Bemisal (1982) – Doctor
  • Saath Saath (1982) – Dr. B.M. Acharya
  • Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984) TV series
  • Ghulami (1985)
  • Jawaab (1985) – Mehta (Journalist)
  • Loha (1987) – Champaklal
  • Mr India (1987) – Baburam
  • Kaash (1987)
  • Aakhri Adalat (1988) – Dr. Abdul Rehman
  • Shahenshah (1988)- Mr. Pathak
  • Salaam Bombay! (1988) – Psychic Superintendent
  • Dayavan (1988) – S.P. Raghavan
  • Abhi To Main Jawan Hoon (1989)
  • Main Azaad Hoon (1989) – Rastogi
  • Awwal Number (1990) – Cricket Commentator
  • Agneepath (1990)
  • Yodha (1991) – Mantri
  • Narasimha (1991) – Narasimha’s dad
  • Mississippi Masala (1991) – Jammubhai
  • Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992) – Saxena
  • Chamatkar (1992) – Tripathi-Inspector/commissioner
  • Khuda Gawah (1992) – Kamaljit
  • Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992) – Race commentator
  • Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993) – Vinayak
  • Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993)- Mr. Narang
  • Damini – Lightning (1993) – Chandrakant (Damini’s dad)
  • Ghatak: Lethal (1996) – Dhamu Kaka
  • Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997) – Commissioner Patwardhan
  • Sanam (1997)
  • China Gate (1998) – Pandey/DK
  • Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha (1998) – Shekhar’s Father
  • Bandhan (1998)
  • Chakravyuh (Bengali) (2000)
  • Pukar (2000)
  • Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (2000)
  • Dattak (2001)
  • Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat (2001)
  • Lajja (2001)
  • Shararat (2002)
  • Little John (2002) by Singheetam Srinivas Rao
  • Stumped (2003)
  • Run (2004)
  • Aan: Men at Work (2004)
  • Chak De! India (2007) – Mr. Tripathi
  • Halla Bol (2008) – Amanullah Khan
  • Arjun: The Warrior Prince (2008) – (Animation) Lord Shiva
  • Flavors (2004) – Mr. Gopalkrishna
  • What’s Your Raashee (2009) – Bharatbhai Patel
  • Yuvvraaj (2008) – Om Mama ji
  • Nishani Dava Angatha (2009) – Marathi Film
  • Mittal v/s Mittal (2010) – Mitali’s Father|
  • Paathshaala (2010)
  • Tees Maar Khan (2010)
  • P Se PM Tak (2014)
  • SEZ (film)|SEZ (2014) – Marathi Film
  • Ek Nadir Galpo: Tale of a River (2014) – (Bengali) by Sameer Chanda
  • Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017)
  • Amma (2017)
  • Ek Thi Rani Aisi Bhi (2017)
  • Firangi (2018)
  • Sanju (2018)
  • Junction Varanasi (2018)
  • PM Narendra Modi (2019)
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