Pankaj Tripathi an Indian actor who struggled to build his career in Hindi film industry was born to Pandit Banaras Tripathi and Hemwanti Devi on September 5th in 1976 in Belsand located in Gopalganj District of Bihar. In Spite of coming from a family of farmers he left no stones unturned to gain fame in Bollywood industry.
In his early years of life Pankaj helped his family in farming activities during his school days. Due to lack of school infrastructure and electricity in the village until his 5th grade Pankaj studied under a tree.
He would actively take part in annual natak of Chhath puja which happened in his village and was appreciated by the villagers for his performance. So he was keen to make a career out of acting right from childhood as he owned acting skills from the age of 13. But his father wanted him to become a doctor, therefore he shifted to patna after his 10th grade for his studies.
He watched a play in Class 12th which completely amazed him. He was very impressed by the performance of Pranita Jaiswal in the play “Andha Kuan”.
Pankaj would cycle his way to watch theatre performances at Kalida Rangalaya in Patna. Then he decided to join Bihar Art Theatre for two years, but those were hard times of his life. He would spend his nights working in the hotel kitchen and do theatre in the day. Night shifts from 11pm-7am and theatre from 2pm-7pm was his routine schedule. Later Pankaj wanted to get trained as an actor and to fulfill the enrolment requirement of National School of Drama(NSD) he completed his graduation in Hindi literature continuing his night shift work and theater in the day.
Along with his studies he managed to join the Students Union and was associated with politics. Once in 1993 he was jailed for seven days for leading a protest to rebel against the state. The time he spent in jail helped him to discover himself and it changed him completely.
Pankaj failed twice in his attempts to get into NSD but he made it in the third attempt. By then he had played almost 35 plays. He was among the 20 students selected from all over India. It was a very big deal for him. He came back to Patna after finishing his course at NSD in 2004 and performed in small plays to make money.
Pankaj got married to Mridula. On October 16TH along with his wife he moved to Mumbai with lots of dreams. They landed in Mumbai with an amount of Rs. 46000 in hand but were left with nothing by the end of December. So his wife had to take up a teaching job and he was doing small roles. They both knew that the struggle would last longer.
Despite all the hurdles Pankaj did not give up for 10 years, he worked hard with desire,dedication and determination.
In the year 2012, Gangs of Wasseypur by Anurag Kashyap was a breakthrough. He gained a new identity from the role he played. After that he had been impressing the audience with his performance in various movies. He had been awarded several times and had received a National Film Award for the movie Newton. His hard work has fetched him success on big screen and on OTT platform.
Pankaj Tripathi’s success and failures in life is an inspiration for everyone. He considers all the ups and downs of his journey worthy after spending over two decades in the industry.