Nilanjana Purkayasstha: I was itching to tell stories that I wanted to tell, rather than just collaborate on stories that others are narrating

Nilanjana Purkayasstha

MUMBAI : Storyteller and producer Nilanjana Purkayasstha was always fond of storytelling. Her journey to showbiz has been an eventful one. Born and raised in Guwahati, she moved to Mumbai around the 90s.

“A single girl moving to a city where she had no one was a scary prospect for my parents. I basically defied them to come to Mumbai, where I enrolled in XIC (Xavier school of communication) to learn filmmaking. Eventually, I was forgiven when they realised that I could take care of myself. My father’s resigned acceptance was evident in one sentence - “you were always stubborn”. I think that kind of sums up my entire life story - I am stubborn and somehow always figure out how to get what I want. After XIC, I got a job in Star Plus and that’s where my TV journey began in 2000. I was a channel executive for 7-8 years till I got bored of it. That’s when I turned producer. Of course, it wasn’t as simple as it sounds,” she says.

Since telling stories was always a part of Nilanjana’s life. “Even in Guwahati I would write and some of my stories were published in newspapers. So, I started writing to sustain myself in Mumbai when I moved here. I got work through friends I made in Mumbai and wrote for events and for ads. However, while working in the channel, I actually learned more about writing. Once I got into the production side of TV, projects took time to fructify. Around that time I started writing professionally. Now, I co-write my own projects,” she adds.

Her first big break as a writer for television came with Bharat Ka Veer Putra Maharana Pratap. “Abhimanyu Singh (CEO of Contiloe Pictures) and I knew each other from my channel days. He asked me to write and I did,” she reveals.

About how she turned a producer, Nilanjana shares that she wanted to do more and got bored with her job as a channel executive after a point.

“I was itching to tell stories that I wanted to tell, rather than just collaborate on stories that others are narrating. Of course, it was easier said than done. I didn’t get a show for almost a year and my savings were running out. I was contemplating going back to a channel job when out of the blue, I got a call from Anu Malik. He had called to check on me. So I told him about my plans and that I was on the verge of giving up. He just said - it will happen… don’t give up. And then he hung up. I realised I cannot give up on my dream and I must continue to be stubborn. That’s how I became a producer,” she adds.

Nilanjana’s debut project as a producer was Chandragupta Maurya, which aired on NDTV Imagine. She then started her production house, Invictus T Mediaworks. “The idea was to tell as well as back stories that deserve a platform…  I like being answerable for everything I do… the buck stops with me, good, bad, ugly,” she ends.


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Submitted by Tellychakkar Team on Sat, 10/30/2021 - 08:44


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