Monday, April 15, 2024

Anup Soni wanted to leave Mumbai after not getting work: Osho's 3 Lines changed his fate, then became famous in every household with Crime Patrol


4 minutes agoAuthor: Ashish Tiwari/Arunima Shukla

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From 13 to 20, I lived in Jaipur. This was the place which introduced me to films and theatre. The world of actors started attracting people on the film screen. Their world looked so beautiful that it seemed as if they had come from another planet. To follow his footsteps, I did my graduation in Jaipur and did drama simultaneously at Rabindra Bhawan Theatre. Then I went to NSD and from there I had to come to Mayanagari Mumbai. When I reached Mumbai, the obstacles there made me think about what I was doing. Wherever he went to ask for work, he would only hear no.

Sitting in his house located in Andheri West, Mumbai, actor Anup Soni is telling us his story. Anoop came to Mumbai in the 90s with the dream of becoming a hero, but his dream was broken as soon as he reached here. However, he did not let this become his weakness.

This is Anup Soni.  Anup was born on 30 January 1975 in Ludhiana.  His father worked in Steel Authority of India.

This is Anup Soni. Anup was born on 30 January 1975 in Ludhiana. His father worked in Steel Authority of India.

We asked him the first question – What was the definition of struggle in Mumbai for you? He immediately replied – I still say that whoever dreams of coming to Mumbai and becoming an actor, both his body and ideology should be made of steel. No matter how many setbacks you face, don't panic.

I came to Mumbai in the late 90s, when I was 25 years old. At that time a different definition of hero had developed in the industry. Only those with beautiful faces were selected for the role of hero. The craze for body building also started after seeing the physique of Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt. Seeing all this I felt that I would not be able to fit in.

Despite this, as soon as I came to Mumbai, I started searching for small roles. Every day he would go to the offices of producer-directors in search of work. Nearby were work resumes and photographs. Wherever I went, people would say – Leave your phone number behind the picture, you will get a call for work soon. Would have done this and gone away.

At that time, mobile had just come in the market, but we could not afford it. There was a PCO in the rented house where I lived, I used to give the number of that PCO at many places. In return, the PCO person used to charge Rs 2 for each call. I used to keep my eyes on the same PCO all day long hoping that now the call will come, now the call will come, but weeks after weeks would pass but no one would call.

Anup had shared these pictures with his mother on social media on her birthday.

Anup had shared these pictures with his mother on social media on her birthday.

How did you decide on your next journey?

He said- At that time in the industry, the producer or director used to cast the hero-heroine and main side artist. The remaining side artists were cast by the casting director. In such a situation, I and other friends started searching for a famous casting director. Things didn't work out here either.

As time passed, questions started rising in my mind that I had not come to Mumbai to do this. There were only shocks everywhere. The thought of leaving Mumbai and going back home also started coming to my mind. I used to say to myself that I don't deserve such a life. Even good food was not available.

How did you face financial crisis while living in Mumbai?

Anup said- Had left from Delhi with a fixed amount. With time the money started running out. Couldn't even ask the family every time. I was not from a very rich family so that I could keep spending as per my wish.

At that time there was no money even for a photoshoot. I had prepared a folder by pasting my old photographs on a black sheet. Whenever I went to meet any director, I used to show him this folder. One day I was going to meet a director in search of work. That folder was also kept in an old plastic bag. As soon as I left the house, it started raining heavily. To save myself I started running. The rain was so heavy that the bag got torn from the bottom due to the impact of water and the folder fell down from it. All the pictures were spread everywhere on the wet road.

I stopped. Seeing all this, tears started flowing. I had never felt so helpless before. Couldn't understand how to pick up those pictures. There was a moment when I decided not to live in Mumbai anymore, whatever I have to do in future has to be done by staying with my family.

Collected the spoiled photographs and took them to the room. The luck was so bad that day that there was not even any friend in the room to share the sorrow. Was running to finish the room alone. Wasn't even able to sleep. In such a situation, I opened a motivational book of Osho kept there and started reading from the middle. Then my eyes fell on those 3 lines, which changed everything.

That line was – If you want better opulence than the opulence you are living now, then you will have to leave the old opulence.

These lines made me think that if I live with my family, I will get everything, but will I be able to get the identity in search of which I left everything and came here. I immediately explained myself and decided not to go back.

Anup Soni married Raj Babbar's daughter Juhi Babbar in 2011.  Both of them met while working together in theatre.  Anoop had shared these pictures on social media on the occasion of anniversary.

Anup Soni married Raj Babbar's daughter Juhi Babbar in 2011. Both of them met while working together in theatre. Anoop had shared these pictures on social media on the occasion of anniversary.

You have also taught acting classes, how did this happen?

Anup says- I had decided to stay in Mumbai, but there was no work to do. It was very important to do something to survive. In such a situation, I started teaching children in Kishore Namit Kapoor's acting school. Since I had passed out from NSD, I got a job here easily. Here he used to teach 2-3 days a week, in return for which he used to get around Rs 1200.

After this, he also got small roles. That's when I found out about the show Sea Hawks. To get work here, I met the show's director Anubhav Sinha. Then after the audition I got the job. After this this sequence continued in such a way that it did not stop for a long time. Played lead role in 3-4 shows. Also did comedy shows.

While I was working in these shows, it occurred to me that my desire was to appear on the film screen. Then he started trying hard to get work in films. Then he got work in films like Gangaajal, Fiza. After this I got a chance to work in the shows Balika Vadhu and Crime Patrol. Both these shows proved to be game changers in my life.

Anoop played the role of Bhairo Dharamveer Singh in the TV show Balika Vadhu.  He was associated with this show from 2008 to 2014.

Anoop played the role of Bhairo Dharamveer Singh in the TV show Balika Vadhu. He was associated with this show from 2008 to 2014.

Why did you leave the show Crime Patrol after 10 years?

Anup said- There is no doubt that this show gave me recognition, but due to this I became a victim of type cast. Because of hosting a crime show, no one offered me any other role other than the role of a police officer.

People thought that I can give perfection only in this or that I am made for this, but it was not so. I used to tell people to offer me other roles, only then I would be able to convince them with my work that I can do everything. Still no one believed.

Eventually, after getting tired, I decided to leave the show. This was the biggest decision of my life. Everyone was saying that I was doing a very stupid thing by doing this. I am putting an end to my career, but I believed in myself that if I don't do this, I will never be able to move forward.

Ultimately my faith won. After this, I got a chance to work in good projects like the film Satyamev Jayate 2, web series Khaki and Tandav.

Anup worked as an anchor in the TV show Crime Patrol.  He gave full 10 years to this show.

Anup worked as an anchor in the TV show Crime Patrol. He gave full 10 years to this show.

How is your bonding with Prakash Jha?

He says, my bonding with Prakash Jha is very good. However, there was a time when his film Aarakshan had to be said no due to Crime Patrol. I had a schedule of 11 days in Bhopal for this film, but with the shooting of Crime Patrol on hold, it was very difficult to go to Bhopal and shoot.

After this he approached for the film examination. This time also the film had to be said no due to not getting a date together. However, this never affected our personal relationship.

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