The talented actor Chandan Roy Sanyal recalls beginning his struggle in Mumbai as an extra on a film set, and often skipping meals due to lack of money.
“When I first came to Mumbai, I was really poor and sometimes had to skip meals because I didn’t have money. When I started earning, a lot of people used to come to my place for rehearsals. At that time I used to cook a lot. I made sure anybody who came to my house goes back well fed,” Chandan said, recalling his early days in Mumbai 20 years ago.
Chandan loves cooking but doesn’t call himself a fancy cook. Talking about his love for cooking, the actor said: “I cook all the time. I’ve been cooking for a while now actually. I’m not a fancy cook making fancy salads and pastas, cake and all that. I make very basic everyday kind of food. I’ve been doing that for years.”
“I mostly cook Bengali and North Indian cuisine. I really suck at making dosas. It becomes khichdi,” he added with a smile.
Bringing together his love for food and films, the actor dreams of making a film on the same someday. He informed: “Food has been very special in my life. In fact, I’ve written a script on a film based on food, which I hope to make one day. Food has been important.”
On the work front, Chandan recently featured in the “Spotlight” segment of the digitally released anthology film “Ray”, which is inspired by a few short stories of the master storyteller Satyajit Ray. Being a Bengali child, did Chandan grown up reading Ray’s books and watching his films?
“I think Satyajit Ray is close to every Bengali. We watch his films and learn. I’ve not read much of Feluda or his other stories but I’ve watched each of his work. It’s an honour to be a part of an anthology on Ray on the 100th year of his birthday celebration,” he shared.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on most of our mental health. Does the actor also feel down at times? “Yes, I feel down sometimes but then I think there are so many people who are less privileged than me. I have my own house and the luxury of waking up doing nothing and still having a meal on my plate and everything else — internet, food, warmth, comfort. Whereas there are so many people out on the streets who are without a job, food, who are dying due to health issues, unemployment. I feel my pain is nothing compared to theirs,” Chandan concluded sounding concerned.
–By Ahana Bhattacharya