Kalki Koechlin Opens up About Being an ‘Outsider’ in India

Kalki Koechlin said that she was discriminated because she is white

2 min read
Kalki Koechlin on being discriminated by her skin colour.

Kalki Koechlin recently spoke up about her struggle as an ‘outsider’ in India. The actor, who was applauded for her performance in the hugely successful web series Made in Heaven, shared her story with Humans of Bombay. She started with her father hitchhiking from France to India and meeting her mother in the process. “ When they started a family, they were very much the locals of the city. My father taught hang gliding on the beach, while my mom taught French. I had an amazing childhood. For the most part, I was never aware that I was ‘white,” she said.

The actor went on to add that how, as a teenager, she would be approached to buy drugs when she would go for trips with her friends to Kovalam. “ I also had this nagging fear that I was being hit on because people thought I didn’t have to keep up with the same Indian customs. So I’d try and be extra nice and pleasing with the aunties – making sure they knew that I was just like my friends.”

When Kalki realised that she wanted to become an actor, she went abroad to study. From working as a waitress during weekends to teaching in schools and juggling plays, life was tough was her. After she moved back to India, Kalki faced many rejections because of her skin colour.

“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”
Kalki Koechlin

The struggle continued after Kalki decided to separate from her husband, but the one lesson that she learned is that life goes on and everyone has the power to deal with struggles.

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