Open main menu

Aanjjan Srivastav (born 2 June 1948) is an Indian film, television and stage actor, associated with Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) in Mumbai of which he remained Vice-President for several years. Outside theatre, he is best known as a character actor in Marathi and Hindi films, most notably, Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala and Anupam Mittal's Flavors and Bollywood films like Gol Maal, Bemisal, Khuda Gawah, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa and Pukar. On television, he made his mark as the quintessential "common man" in the TV series Wagle Ki Duniya (Wagle's World) (1988–90) and Wagle Ki Nayi Duniya, where he played the lead role, apart from Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984) and Nukkad.[2][3] He has also acted for more than 40 years in over 30 plays, many of them jubilee hits, including Bakri, Moteram Ka Satyagrah, Shatranj Ke Mohre, Ek Aur Dronacharya and Chakkar Pe Chakkar.[4][5] One of his serials is Bharat Ek Khoj, based upon Pt. Nehru's Discovery of India, wherein he played various roles.

Aanjjan Srivastav
Aanjjan Srivastav.jpg
Srivastav in 2012
Anjan Srivastav

(1948-06-02) 2 June 1948 (age 71) [1]
Years active1976–present
Spouse(s)Mrs. Madhu Srivastav


Early life and educationEdit

He was born and brought up in Calcutta (now Kolkata), into a family from Uttar Pradesh and his father was a respected banker with Allahabad Bank. Anjan did his B.Com. and LLB from Calcutta University, it was here that he started taking part in local Hindi and Bengali theatre groups in 1968, and did plays for All India Radio. Meanwhile, he also did a small role in the film Chameli Mem Shaeb. Soon he acted with noted groups in the city like Kala Bhavan, Sangeet Kala Mandir and Adakar and acted in a few Bengali films.[3]


As per his fathers wishes, he joined the Allahabad Bank, and continued acting in plays on the side. It was only after the death of his sister in 1976 that his father relented and allowed him get transferred to Bombay (now Mumbai) to pursue his acting career further.[3]

Upon arrival, he immediately joined Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) and worked in its several productions, and remained with it ever since, after staying its General Secretary of IPTA for a while, he went on to become the Vice-President. He also worked with Prithvi Theatre in the city.[5][6][7]

Anjan started his career with Bengali plays like Neel Darpan, Kayakalp and Anwar around the year 1967. In Mumbai, with Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), he contributed to several plays including the most renowned Safaid Kundali (The Caucassion chalk circle) by M. S. Sathyu and other Stage plays in the social category with association of the same theatre group. Theatre led to film roles like in Kundan Shah's Saza-E-Maut, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's comedy classic, Gol Maal (1979) and JP Dutta's Ghulami (1985). Then he moved in Television with Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi and went on act in notable TV series like Manoranjan, Tamas, by Govind Nihlani, Nukkad and Katha Sagar, finally in 1987, he received the lead in comedy series, Wagle Ki Duniya, based on R.K. Laxman's common man, which brought him his place in the limelight. He also acted in Shyam Benegal's epic series, Discovery of India.[8]

He often plays skeptical bureaucratic roles, sometimes the conventional narrow-minded father character, and as the veteran actor who effectively enacted the troubles and ways of life of a common-middle-class man in Wagle Ki Duniya, a creation by known cartoonist R.K. Laxman and director Kundan Shah. He has acted in over 127 Hindi films including Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, as head hockey official, Mr. Tripathi in Chak De! India, and in other films like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and No Entry and many other characters in various films. In 2005, he played the lead in M.S. Sathyu's production Raat, written by Javed Siddiqui and based on Ariel Dorfman's play Death and the Maiden.[9] Other plays Anjan continues to do include Moteram Ka Satyagrah, directed by M. S. Sathyu, based on the writings of Munshi Premchand and Safdar Hashmi and Kashmakash, directed by Ramesh Talwar. These plays mostly run at Prithvi Theatre, Mysore Association-Sion, TejPal Auditorium. Anjan's Moteram Ka Satyagrah and Shatranj Ke Mohre are some plays which have been running now for more than 20 years.

All through his acting career, he remained a bank employee from where he later retired in 2001.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Anjan Srivastav is married, and a father of twins, a boy and a girl and a daughter younger to the twins. Most of his family members are active workers in the theatre field.

At first, during his younger days, Anjan rebelliously fulfilled his acting dream, through the medium of Bengali theatre, while he stayed with his parents at Calcutta, mostly against his father's wishes.

Only after the death of his sister, as situations changed, Anjan struggled his way in the Bombay IPTA theatre group, and film industry with his first appearance in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Golmaal, all this while working in a bank alongside to keep up financially. Eventually, in 1988, Anjan appeared in R. K. Laxman's series Wagle ki Duniya, a sitcom which achieved a cult status with 13 episodes and Anjan immediately became a household name.


Aanjjan has been contributing to stage acting for the last 49 years. He has been directed by MS Sathyu, Ramesh Talwar, RM Singh, Jaydev Hattangadi, Waman Kendre and many more to join the list. His benchmark performances have been in play's like Shankar Shesh's classic 'Ek Aur Dronacharya', Premchand's Moteram Ka Satyagrah (Dramatized by Habib Tanvir & Safdar Hashmi). Moteram, directed by MS Sathyu opened in 1989, and is still running with Aanjjan portraying the role of protagonist Pandit Moteram Shastri. Yet another landmark production 'Ek Maamooli Aadmi' based on Akira Kurosava's landmark film IKIRU (play directed by Raman Kumar), where he portrays the role of Ishwar Chand Awasthi, a middle aged man leading a monotonous life, and the changes he brings within himself as he realizes the end is near. Aanjjan has been a lifetime member of the Indian People's Theatre Association and has contributed as an actor to the organization for over 38 years. He began his journey in IPTA with RM Singh's Ateet ki Parchaiyan, (Based on Ibsen's THE GHOST) and went on to give performances in some of the most socially influencing plays, being Sathyu's Bakri, Sufaid Kundali, Dande Ka Ghoda, Rakshas, Kurkshetra se Kargil Tak and many more. He also contributed as an actor to plays like Aakhri Peshi, Waman Kendre's Saiyyan Bhai Kotwal (Tempt Me not), Ramesh Talwar's longest running production Shatranj Ke Mohre (based on PL Deshpande's writing), Salim Arif's Tajmahal Ka Tender and a long list of productions to follow.

Theatre showsEdit

Play Direction Language
1967–1978 Kayakalp Sushila Mishra Bengali
Baati Ghar Bijon Chatterjee Bengali
The Chinese Wall Sushila Mishra Bengali
All My Sons Sushila Mishra - Arthur Miller's Bengali
Neel Darpan (Bengali) Jnanesh Mukherjee - Bandhu Mitra's Bengali
Aashad Ka Ek Din Badri Prasad Tewary - Mohan Rakesh's Bengali
Chakkar pe Chakkar Rajendra Sharma Bengali
Kachwa Aur Khargosh Rajendra Sharma Bengali
Aasman Se Gira Rajendra Sharma Bengali
Kisi Ek Phool Ka Naam Lo Rajendra Sharma Bengali
Barf Ki Minar Rajendra Sharma Bengali
Ek Aur Dronachaarya Badri Prasad Tiwari Bengali
The Good Woman of Setzuan Shyamaland Jalan - Brecht's Bengali
1978–present The Ghost (Ateet Ki Parchaaiyan) R. M. Singh - Ibsen's Hindi


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)
Hori Kamlakar Sontake Hindi
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
Dekha Andekha Ashok Lal 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

Selected television showsEdit

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Aanjjan Srivastav at his 60th birthday party held on 2 June 2008 at The Club, Andheri. Archived 4 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Profile of Anjan Shrivastava: The Uncommon Common man
  3. ^ a b c d Anjan's world The Hindu, 16 September 2003.
  4. ^ "The quintessential common man". Indian Express. 16 June 2003. Archived from the original on 21 June 2003. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  5. ^ a b IPTA will never close down Indian Express, 1 May 1997.
  6. ^ "Trapped in Wagle's mould". Indian Express. 9 November 1999.
  7. ^ The show must go on!: The Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) moves into the 60th year of its formation The Tribune, 18 August 2001.
  8. ^ "Long Run". Screen. 16 October 2009. Archived from the original on 23 October 2010.
  9. ^ Night to remember: M.S. Sathyu's `Raat' is being staged in the city The Hindu, Hyderabad, 4 August 2005.

External linksEdit