From An Aspiring Doctor To A "Household Name," How A Phone Call Changed Rasika Dugal's Life

"I almost signed 5 films but none worked out, producers said I wasn't 'sellable'," wrote Rasika Dugal

From An Aspiring Doctor To A 'Household Name,' How A Phone Call Changed Rasika Dugal's Life

Rasika Duggal posing for the camera. (courtesy rasikaduggal)


  • Rasika Duggal revealed that she wanted to be a doctor as a kid
  • "I never thought I'd act," wrote Rasika
  • "Everything changed when I entered college," she added
New Delhi:

Actress Rasika Dugal, who has an impressive filmography, in her piece for Humans Of Bombay, opened up about her aspirations, her days of struggle and more. Rasika's breakout performance came in the form of Nandita Das' Manto. Rasika recalled the incident and wrote, "One day, my phone rang-it was Nandita Das. She wanted to cast me in Manto and that changed everything." Another milestone in Rasika Dugal's career was the web-series Mirzapur. An excerpt from her piece read, "I was craving a project that would reach a wide audience that I wouldn't have to tell people about. Mirzapur was that for me."

Rasika's first big assignment as an actor came in the form of a film called Kshay. Sharing her experience, she wrote: "On the best day of shoot we had only 4 people on set. At times, I'd hold the thermocol sheet and also shoot. Somehow the movie got made and premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival! Reviewers praised my performance; I was thrilled! But the cutest part was my mom arranging a special screening in Jamshedpur. She was so proud! After Kshay, I got offered more roles. I even worked with Irrfan in Qissa. And then, I almost signed 5 films but none worked out; producers said I wasn't 'sellable'. It was the lowest time in my career."

The journey for the actress was not that easy. She would give 5 auditions a day. She wrote: "I'd give 5 auditions a day; I'd just show up at every audition. It was simple, mujhe kaam chahiye tha, aur unke paas kaam tha. I was advised against doing small roles, but I still did 14 films where I had small parts including an Anurag Kashyap film, I'd proudly say, 'Mujhe Anurag Kashyap ke movie mei part mila hai.' I was proud of what I was doing."

Growing up in Jamshedpur, Rasika had no clue she would like to pursue acting in the future. "I grew up in Jamshedpur. There, all kids had the same answer to, 'Bade hoke kya banna hai?'- 'Doctor ya engineer.' I was no different, but everything changed when I entered college. There were so many talented people around me-dancers and artists; I'd opened the door to a whole new world. I explored dance and drama. Still, I never thought I'd act. Then once I read about an acting course. On a whim, I applied and got through! During orientation, I wondered, 'Main kahan aa gayi hun?' But 6 months in, I knew this is what I wanted to do. When my acting course ended, I desired to be an actor," she wrote.

Read Rasika Duggal's story here:

Rasika Dugal is a star of films like Manto, Qissa, Chutney, Hamid, The School Bag and Lootcase, to name a few.