Friday, July 12, 2024

There was no money so the roommates took it out of the house: only 2 rupees were left for food; Hiramandi's 'Hamid' Anuj's journey was not easy

47 minutes agoAuthor: Arunima Shukla and Virendra Mishra

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This is Anuj Sharma. Recently, he was seen in the role of freedom fighter Hamid in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's series 'Hiramandi'. This is Anuj's third project with Bhansali. Before this, he had also worked in the films 'Padmavat' and 'Gangubai Kathiawadi'.

This time in the Struggle Story, we have included the story of this Anuj Sharma. Interestingly, he was initially rejected for 'Hiramandi', but later Bhansali himself selected him for this series.

The struggle in Mumbai also tried to break Anuj many times. By the time they reached here they wanted to run back home, but a call from their father gave them the courage to stay here. After 1-2 months he also faced financial crisis. The situation had become such that they did not even have money left for food.

First read how Anuj became a part of Bhansali's three projects…

Couldn't sleep the whole night when he was rejected for 'Hiramandi'
Anuj told, the set of 'Hiramandi' was installed in Film City. Two days before getting selected, I was passing through Film City with my brother. I told my brother that this is Sanjay sir's set and I want to work with him in this series.

Next day I don't know how, I got a call for audition and I gave the audition. Afternoon turned into night, but no call came from the production team. When I found out, I was disappointed. It was told from the front that the selection could not be done.

As soon as I heard this, I lost my sleep at night. I was repeatedly thinking what Bhansali sir would have thought when he saw my audition. The whole night passed in this turmoil.

After waking up the next day, I was telling my grief to God when I got a call from the Bhansali production team that Bhansali sir wanted to meet me. I got ready and reached Film City. He asked about my well-being. Just saying this was too much for me.

After this sir said that this is a scene and come ready for it. I thought Sir wanted to audition again because someone told me that Sir had not seen my old audition. I did the entire scene considering it an audition. Later it came to light that he was a part of the shooting itself.

Had rejected the offer of 'Padmavat' for the first time
Anuj had earlier worked in Bhansali's films 'Padmavat' and 'Gangubai Kathiawadi'. About these two films, Anuj said, 'I came to Mumbai in 2005. The day he arrived, he went to Bhansali Production's office and gave his photo. Apart from the production house, Bhansali also used to go to other production houses and give his pictures and who knows if he might get some work from somewhere.

13 years had passed since this incident. Then one day I got a call from casting director Amita Sehgal on behalf of Bhansali production team. He offered the film 'Padmavat'. I felt that there would be only one or two scenes in the film, so I rejected the offer because at that time I was doing good work in TV shows.

Then Amita ji explained that I should do this film and should also meet Bhansali sir. Obeying his advice, I reached the set the next day and met Sir. I went crazy just by seeing his aura. He talked to me very warmly and then I signed the film.

After 4 years, I got a call for the film 'Gangubai Kathiawadi' and I agreed to this too.

Now read the story of Anuj Sharma's struggle in his own words…

Decided to become an actor after watching the shooting
Anuj's first dream was not to become an actor. He said, 'My maternal uncle was associated with the acting field. He was the first member of the family to come to the city of dreams, Mumbai. Once he took me to Delhi, where the shooting of a TV show was going on.

I was stunned to see the shooting. I saw there that there was a big team, which included 6-7 people, for one man to manage. Someone is fixing makeup, someone is making hair style and someone is standing with a mirror. All these things attracted me a lot. After seeing this I decided to become an actor.

Uncle used to say that to become an actor, first improve Hindi.
Anuj is a resident of Haryana. Because of this his Hindi was not clear. Haryanvi touch was visible while speaking. Regarding this he said, 'Mama used to say that your Hindi is good otherwise how will you become an actor. First learn to speak, then dream of becoming an actor.

After this I started working hard to improve Hindi pronunciation. On the other hand, uncle used to narrate stories of films, due to which I started getting associated with films. During this time my uncle died, but my madness for acting did not diminish.

He became so passionate about acting that as soon as he finished college, he used to go to Mandi House in Delhi to watch and learn drama. This continued for 3 years, but this seemingly easy journey was not easy at all. Going to college every day and then coming to Delhi from Sonipat was very challenging. I did not get much money from home, but my dream had to be fulfilled. Even if I wanted to, I could not betray my dreams due to poverty or any other excuse.

After graduating from Philosophy, the friends decided that they would all become lawyers. But on the day when we had to reach to collect the form, the train got late. Then fate took such a turn that on the same day I met actor Rajesh Tailang in the office of India's Most Wanted Show. He was very impressed by my conversation, but nothing happened.

2 days have passed since this happened. I was preparing for Ramleela near home when I got a call from Rajesh Tailang and he offered me the show India's Most Wanted. Hearing this, I jumped with joy and started shooting from the very next day. This was the first shoot of my life.

Worked in a hotel for 2 years, came to Mumbai on the request of girlfriend
Anuj told that he had gained a lot of popularity by working on DD2 channel, but then this channel itself got closed. Due to lack of any other work, he was forced to take a break from acting for 2 years.

Regarding this journey, Anuj told, 'When the channel was closed, there was no other way. Wanted to go to Mumbai, but the conditions were not such that I could go there. Anyway, my family members wanted me to do a job just to survive and get married and settle down.

When I left acting, I started doing billing in a hotel. At this time I met Nidhi, who is my wife today. After getting into a relationship with him, our first Valentine's Day came. I asked him what he wanted on this special day. I expected her to demand a call, but she didn't. I was surprised to hear what he said.

She said- I want you to stay in Mumbai on Valentine's Day i.e. 14th February and do not return to Panipat until you fulfill your dream. She knew how desperate I was to go to Mumbai, but the circumstances were not working out. However, his demand gave me a lot of courage and on 14 February 2005, I reached the land of Mumbai.

Anuj with wife Nidhi.

Anuj with wife Nidhi.

Wanted to leave Mumbai within a day, started crying after listening to father
Like common strugglers, Anuj found the struggle in Mumbai tiring. Not even a day had passed since Anuj came here and he had made up his mind to leave Mumbai. He says about this, 'After reaching Mumbai, I went to stay in a friend's room. When I reached there, my heart sank.

Saw 6 people living in a small room. I had never seen such a crowd before. Seeing all this, my courage broke and I decided to go back home the very next day. Just then my father called to inquire about my well-being at home. He sensed from my subdued voice that I was upset. He said- You are the son of a soldier, you cannot lose. Hearing this from him, I started crying and gave up the idea of ​​going home.

One day the situation came to such a pass that there was no money left even for food.
'After living with those six people for a month, I went to live in another room where two people were already living. As soon as the money ran out, I was thrown out of that room too. That day was such that I had only Rs 2 left. There was difficulty even in eating. After a tiring day, I was feeling hungry in the evening, but could not even buy anything and eat. Just then Nidhi's call came. When he came to know that I did not even have money for food, he consoled me and with the help of a friend sent me Rs 1000.

With that one thousand rupees I bought new shoes because the old ones were torn. All the money was gone within 1-2 days. Then I asked for Rs 5000 from my father, but the problem was how that money would reach me. Neither did I have any ATM nor did I have anyone of my own in Mumbai city. Then during this time of trouble, a friend became a messiah and he came from Delhi to Mumbai to give the money. At the same time, another friend also provided accommodation in Mumbai.

He was struggling with poverty and circumstances and luckily he got a job in the great actor Dilip Kumar's TV show Stree. Here I used to get Rs 1500 per day. With this money the journey became easier for a few days and all the debts also ended.

Anuj with parents and sisters and brothers in one frame.

Anuj with parents and sisters and brothers in one frame.

When Dilip Kumar saw his talent and gave him a job in a TV show
Anuj told that the story of getting work in the TV show Stree is also interesting. He told that Dilip Sahab himself had added the character for him in the show. He said, 'When I came to audition on the first day, the casting head said that you are a theater actor. According to you there is no character in the script.

I felt a little sad thinking this. Then I met Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu because the casting was going on in their bungalow. Knowing that they were theater artists, both of them spoke to me with great warmth. Then everything ended there.

When there was no update from the team of that show for 29 days, I despaired and went back to Sonipat. Only a few hours had passed since I reached there when I got a call from the head of the casting team. He said- Anuj, you come the day after tomorrow, Saira Banu wants to meet you.

A call brought hope back into my mind and I came back to Mumbai the same night. The next day I went and met Dilip Sahab and Saira ji. Dilip Sahab told the writer to add a character in the story according to my personality.

When I couldn't find work, I became a teacher.
Regarding the journey ahead, Anuj said, 'Even after working in such a big show, the struggle did not end. Didn't get any work after this show. Wherever he went to ask for work, he was sent back saying NOT FIT. At this time people's praise also seemed like abuse.

After some time, I started teaching in an acting institute of MHADA. Found shelter as well. However, after some time I realized that I was cheating myself by doing this. Just thinking this, I left teaching and started struggling to appear on screen.

After this I got work in Ram Gopal Varma's film 'Go'. Getting work here was also a game of luck. Now after 27 years, I have got such a good job in a show like Heeramandi, which there is no need to tell the world. This is a series which will be remembered till the end of cinema.

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