‘Dev.D’ didn’t guarantee more work: Kalki Koechlin on struggle after debut, divorce and more

Kalki Koechlin last seen in ‘Gully Boy’ shared about her life during struggling days, before and after it, in a post with Humans of Bombay. Reminiscing, Kalki said she was never aware of being ‘white’ as a child but noticed the difference as she grew old and started feeling like an outsider.

“I had an amazing childhood. For the most part, I was never aware that I was ‘white’. I didn’t feel like an outsider until much later. As I grew up, the struggle started when I noticed the difference.”

Talking about her auditioning days and her debut she added, working as a waitress and teaching schools is how she sustained. “As the years went by I realised I wanted to be an actor, and went abroad to study. Over there, I had to sustain myself. I worked as a waitress on weekends and taught in schools while trying to juggle plays. Once I knew I was ready – I moved back home.

I started going for auditions, I would even carry an extra pair of clothes wherever I went. But it was hard. I got many rejections, and was often typecast. After countless tries I finally got my first role in DevD! But even that wasn’t enough to guarantee more work. For 2 years I had no other offers. But I didn’t give up, I kept writing and acting in my own plays alongside. And in 2011 I had four movie releases!”

Even after she found a foothold in the film industry, her struggles didn’t end. Kalki who has won a National Award for her work as Laila in Margarita with a Straw (2015) said, “The struggles never really do end though. When my ex-husband and I decided to separate, I had to deal with the rumors. Every time I stepped out with a man, the media thought we were dating. Journalists would ask me how has my life been post-divorce, how was I handling my career and balancing it? In fact, even concerned neighbours would ask such questions to my parents. But I chose to ignore it.”

“So through all of this, I’ve learned that the struggle is on-going. It can find you anywhere.” she added.

Kalki was last seen in the Amazon Original series, ‘Made in Heaven’. In the drama series, she plays the role of Faiza, a victim of domestic abuse. The Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar collaboration has received rave reviews.

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