Anurag Kashyap is one of those film-makers who is known for his remarkably gripping and visceral movie creations that won’t let you leave the theatre without stirring your thoughts. His work has gained as much critical acclaim as much as it has gained infamy due to Anurag’s stark portrayal of several sensitive social matters and issues. When the attention is shifted towards his love life, Anurag has been in and out of love several times, and when it comes to the topic of Anurag Kashyap’s marriage life, he has always been candid about sharing the point that his life is ‘controlled’ by the strong women in his life. In this article, we take a look at Anurag’s first marriage with prominent Bollywood film editor, Aarti Bajaj, followed by his second wedlock with actress Kalki Koechlin, and everything else that came after. Here we go.
Anurag Kashyap – Breaking Conventions
Anurag Kashyap was born on 10th September 1972 in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. Anurag had conventional upbringing, and films were never part of his plans for the future ahead. When he finished his schooling and was looking to pursue his higher studies, he decided to enrol at the University of Delhi. It was during this phase that he happened to join a street play troupe, and this marked the beginning of his interest in the world of performing arts. He once visited the International Film Festival event in New Delhi, where he happened to see several films at a stretch, which invariably cemented the plan of becoming a film-maker in his mind. He decided to move to Mumbai, where after initial struggle and low phases, he managed to become the resolute film-maker that we all know today. Along this journey, he’s had three definitive loves, and Anurag Kashyap’s marriage to Kalki was not his first.
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The First Love That Didn’t Last
Anurag’s first tryst with love was with the notable Bollywood film editor Aarti Bajaj, whom he is said to have met either during his days in New Delhi or his early days in Mumbai. Either way, the couple met and fell in love way before they had made a mark in the film industry. Not much is known about their first meeting though but the two were definitely in a relationship for over a decade. Since Aarti was also planning to pursue a career in film editing, it is considered that the couple got into a live-in relationship during this chapter of their life. It is during this phase that the duo had their first child in 2001, a daughter, whom they named Aaliyah. Two years after the birth of their daughter, Aarti and Anurag tied the knot in 2003 but Aarti and Anurag Kashyap’s marriage hit the rocks four years later when the couple separated in the year 2007. Sources close to the couple cited Anurag’s depression as the reason for the rift between the couple because of the tough career phase he was going through. Most of his films during that circa would get stalled in post-production or never ever see a release date. The recurrent dips in his professional life dragged Anurag’s emotions to an extreme low point, and he would often lock himself up in his room for days without talking to his wife. Things were soon going too far for Aarti who had to look after the then five-year old Aaliyah all alone.
Anurag Kashyap’s marriage to Aarti dissolved over time. In late 2007, the couple separated, and while Aarti stayed back with her daughter in her apartment, Anurag moved out of it to find another accommodation. When they were quizzed about their separation, the couple acknowledge it but declined to elaborate further. In early 2008, the couple filed for divorce, which they were granted in 2009. Their daughter Aaliyah continues to stay with Aarti Bajaj but is said to be in touch with Anurag as well.
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Finding Second Love In Chandramukhi
In late 2008, Anurag was busy working on his next film Dev.D, which was a modern rendition of the classic tragic love story Devdas. In this film, he had the French-Indian actress Kalki Koechlin play the character of Chandramukhi, and six months down the line, Anurag fell for this modern Chandramukhi. In an interview, Kalki shared that she never noticed that he had started liking her, and it was only after Anurag started making frequent appearances as an audience member for her plays that she got a whiff of the matter. She added that six months down the shooting of her film with him, he asked her out. He even said her that he was madly in love with her. She was quite impressed by his honesty, and even added that he is a sentimental person who would wear his heart by his sleeve. Qualities like these drew her closer to Anurag and they were soon in a deep romantic bond, which became evident when the two moved-in together to have a live-in relationship.
Kalki Koechlin And Anurag Kashyap’s Marriage
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Anurag and Kalki had a live-in relationship from 2009 to 2011. By early 2011, the couple had strongly considered taking their relationship to the next level, and decided to tie the knot. Kalki Koechlin and Anurag Kashyap’s marriage was initiated with a private South Indian wedding ceremony at Kalki’s parents’ farmhouse in Ooty, where she grew up. The couple left for the venue five days in advance, and switched off their mobile phones to give themselves some privacy. Only 40 guests were invited to the wedding event, and the couple made it a point that no one spills the address of their picturesque farmhouse wedding location. Anurag and Kalki chose to have a Tamil wedding, and Kalki got her bridal trousseau designed by the popular celebrity designer Laila Bijlani-Motwane, who designed an exquisite silk Kanjeevaram saree for her.
For the reception which the couple threw the same day at the same place, Kalki wore an orange lehenga designed by Laila Bijlani-Motwane again. Interestingly, Anurag designed his own outfit, and said to have been the brains behind his elegant silk kurta-pyjama right from its design to completion. Designer Laila Bijlani-Motwane is said to have been all-praise for Anurag’s taste and choice. The couple returned back to Mumbai to live in their new house, which they had purchased before their marriage. Things were definitely in place for both of them until Kalki began to face exactly the same troublesome conditions which Aarti Bajaj had faced some years ago. This was Anurag Kashyap’s marriage no.2, so both Kalki and Anurag tried a lot more. But things got too tough.
Love Lost… Again
In late 2013, news started doing the rounds that the once doting couple has separated and contemplating a divorce. Not much was known about what was happening in Kalki Koechlin and Anurag Kashyap’s marriage, until Kalki’s interview with a tabloid in which she confirmed the news. For the first time, Kalki opened her heart about the marriage, and shared that she still loves Anurag. She also shared that while he is a good person, he is also someone with very unstable temperaments.
“The not so good thing is that he is not aware of influences and people pulling him in different directions. He is also a very angry person and can defend himself very well, but he does get swayed.”
– Kalki Koechlin about her then husband Anurag Kashyap
Kalki added that Anurag would often vent out his inner frustration on others, which would eventually irk her a lot. It would repeat often, and slowly things went too far for Kalki, and she found the situation beyond her control. Eventually, the couple decided to take some time off and separate indefinitely. Despite the rift, the duo would never publicly malign each other’s image, and always used words of praise for one another. But the bonhomie was just external, and in reality things had moved beyond the point of reconciliation. Four years after Kalki Koechlin and Anurag Kashyap’s marriage, and six years after knowing each other, the couple finally divorced in 2015. It came as a surprise to everyone since their love was so palpable, and they were always vocal about their admiration towards each other. Even after their split, the couple continue to remain friends, and Kalki is said to be close to Aaliyah, Anurag’s daughter from the first marriage. Anurag also once shared that losing Kalki was his biggest loss. But soon, the loss was going to be filled by someone new in Anurag’s life.
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Finding Love The Third Time But Gone Again
It is said that when Anurag separated from Kalki, he grew closer to a certain assistant director named Sabrina Khan. Sabrina had worked with Anurag in some films, and a source close to the film-maker shared that she had brought a stability in his life when his marriage with Kalki was on the rocks. The duo first met at a party and hit it off immediately. Their friendship soon blossomed into a full-fledged relationship. In a interview in mid 2014, Anurag acknowledged his affiliation with Sabrina and shared that he is very happy with the way things are turning out. Some sources close to the pair even shared the two have been going on long holidays together. In spite of having an age difference of nearly twenty years, the two seemed to share a strong bond. But even the press was not sure about guessing at a third Anurag Kashyap’s marriage. Still, things seemed rosy again in Anurag’s personal life; until there were reports in early 2015 which stated that Sabrina and Anurag have separated.
The reports came as a mixed bag of news which made many tabloids approach Anurag directly. Anurag finally acknowledged his breakup with Sabrina in early 2015, and in the interview blamed media for devastating his relationship. He rued that the film industry had stopped treating Sabrina based on her merit, and saw her now as ‘Anurag Kashyap’s girlfriend’ due to all the media reports surrounding their relationship. This bothered the young Sabrina (she is said to be just in her early twenties), who did not want her career to be dragged down by the tag, and therefore decided to call off the relationship. There were also rumours that Sabrina’s family did not approve of her relationship because of the wide age difference between her and Anurag. Either way, Anurag’s third chapter in his book of love finally came to an end, and he soon shifted his complete attention to his work.
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Anurag has since been ardently busy with his work, and has reached new peaks in his professional life. On the personal front, he is being a doting father, and is said to spend ample time with his daughter Aaliyah. In spite of all his failed relationships and affairs, Anurag never complained about or blamed any of his love interests nor did they. We hope he finally finds the true love of his life, and wish him all the best for all his ventures ahead.