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When Rupali Ganguly waited at the table for money, her father was the guest. Read her life story


Rupali Ganguly is one of the most talked about TV actresses right now. She has been winning hearts since the start of her show Anupama, where she plays the titular show. Anupama has been topping the TRP charts every week. However, Rupali’s life has not always been a bed of roses. In a new conversation, Rupali recalls the time when two of her father, filmmaker Anil Ganguly’s films flopped, she had to wait tables and serve food for money.

About his father…

During a conversation with Humans of Bombay, Rupali said, “Papa is a National Award-winning director and my biggest hero. When his films came out, people admired stars like Rajesh Khanna, but I would say, ‘Papa is the real star!’ After school, I used to go to his sets. I was mesmerized watching him meticulously direct each frame. Is Bich, Naiki Kaise Paan Gaye, Bada Hi Nahi Sala (Meanwhile, I don’t know when I became an actor)! Once, an actress backed out of Papa’s film and cast me in it. Just like that, at the age of 12, the acting bug bit me.”

When Rupali waited tables for money

Rupali Ganguly added, “But soon, Dad suffered 2 setbacks. Our hard time started and my dream took a back seat. I did everything – worked in a boutique, served food, even waited tables. I was once a waiter at a party where papa was a guest! I worked in advertisements and that’s how I met my husband Ashwin. He suggested I try TV, & I thought, ‘Why not!’ Immediately, I got the title character in Sukanya’s title and I was there! But I held Dad’s opinion in high esteem. Once, I proudly showed him a scene, & he said, ‘Kut rona nahi haiadiens ko rulana hai!’ He helped me improve my craft.

His hit show Sarabhai VS Sarabhai

Rupali also talked about her hit show Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai. He said, “After 4 years, Sarabhai happened. None of us knew it would be a hit, we had fun! Even now, Satish Kaka calls me to check up and Ratna Ben brings gifts for my son after every trip. We became a family on that show. Over the next few years, at the peak of my career, I took a break and shocked people. But I don’t regret it. I was once told ‘you’ll never conceive’ so watching my son take his first steps was a blessing. The next 6 years are all about family.

Thinking of her father’s death, how she treats Anupama

Anil Ganguly died of asphyxiation in 2016. Recalling that time and how he got hold of Anupama, Rupali says, “During this time, devastatingly, I lost my father. Even when Anupama got a chance, I was in mourning. Ashwin encouraged me, ‘It’s time you got your due as an actor. You go out and I will take care of the rest. But I hesitated. So, I went to my producer Rajan Shahi, who I trusted a lot, and said, ‘Give me time to get fit’. But he told me, ‘I want a mother, not a heroine!’ His faith showed the show for what it was. I got close to papa because Anupama was shooting! This is a story written by her with a strong female character. The love I have received from people of all ages and from all corners is overwhelming. Every day, I do my best to be worthy of it. I hope dad is looking at me with a smile.

Rupali Ganguly made her acting debut in the 1985 film Saheb starring Anil. In 2000, he made his television debut with Sukanya. She has also been a part of shows such as Sanjivani, Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai, Kahani Khar Khar Ki, Parwarish Kuch Katti Kuch Meethi and many more.

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