TV star Rupali Ganguly, who is a household name today, once waited tables. In a piece for Humans Of Bombay, she recalled her journey, her struggles and more. She also wrote about her father and late filmmaker Anil Ganguly too. "Once, an actress backed out of Papa's film, and he put me in it. Just like that, at 12, the acting bug bit me. But soon, Papa had 2 flops. Our tough time began, and my dream took a backseat. I did everything-worked in a boutique, catered, even waited tables. I was once a waiter at a party where Papa was a guest! I worked in ads, too-that's how I met my husband, Ashwin. He suggested that I try TV, and I thought, 'Why not'," she wrote in her post.
Her dad Anil Ganguly was best-known for directing films like Kora Kagaz (1974) and Tapasya (1975), both of which won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Writing about her father, she added, "Papa was a national award winning director, and my biggest hero. When his films came out, people admired stars like Rajesh Khanna, but I'd say, 'Papa is the real star!' After school, I'd visit his sets. Watching him direct each frame meticulously... I was fascinated. Iss bich, heroine kaise ban gayi, pata hi nahi chala."
Rupali wrote about her breakout role in and wrote: "Soon after, I got the titular character in Sukanya - in my head, I had arrived! But I held papa's feedback in high regard. Once, I proudly showed him a scene, and he said, 'Khud rona nahi hai-audience ko rulana hai.' He helped me better my craft."
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai was another milestone in Rupali's career. She wrote: "4 years later, Sarabhai happened. And none of us knew it'd be a hit, we were just having fun! Even now, Satish Kaka calls to check-up on me, and Ratna Ben brings presents for my son after every trip. We became a family on that show."
The next few years, at the peak of my career, I shocked people by taking a break. But I didn't regret it. I was once told, 'You'll never conceive,' so watching my son take his first steps was a blessing. Next 6 years were all about family," read an excerpt from her post.
While she was the peak of her career, the actress lost her father at the age of 82 in 2016. She wrote: "During this time, devastatingly, I lost Papa. I was still grieving when I got offered Anupamaa. Ashwin encouraged me, 'It's high time you got your due as an actor. You go out there-I'll take care of everything else.' But I was hesitant. So, I went to my producer, Rajan Shahi, who I trusted a lot, and said, 'Give me time to get in shape.' But he told me, 'I want a mother, not a heroine!' His conviction made the show what it is."
Anupamaa helped Rupali in heal in a way. She added, "Being on the sets of Anupamaa made me feel close to Papa! It was the kind of story that he would've written, with a strong female lead. And the love I've received, from all ages, all corners... It's so overwhelming. Everyday, I do my best to be worthy of it. I hope Papa is looking down at me with a smile."
Read Rupali's post here:
Rupali Ganguly plays the titular role in the popular TV show Anupamaa, and its prequel titled Anupama - Namaste America. Rupali Ganguly, a popular name in the Hindi television industry, is best-known for starring in TV shows like Sanjivani, Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Kkavyanjali, Aapki Antara, Adaalat, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and Baa Bahoo Aur Baby.