Comedian-actor Raju Srivastava, who made a mark as a stand-up comic and later entered politics, died on Wednesday after more than 40 days in hospital. He was 58. Raju suffered a sudden heart attack on August 10 following which he was rushed to AIIMS Delhi, where he underwent an angioplasty procedure. He had been on the ventilator since and never regained consciousness. Raju, who received widespread recognition after participating in the first season of the stand-up comedy show 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge' in 2005, was part of the Indian entertainment industry since the late 1980s. He is survived by his wife Shikha and their children, Antara and Ayushman.
Raju Srivastava's Family
The popular comedian is survived by his wife Shikha who is a housewife. On July 1, 1993, Raju married Shikha from Lucknow and the duo had two children, Antara and Ayushman. In 2009, he participated in Colors TV's dance reality show 'Nach Baliye' as a dance couple with his wife Shikha. Reportedly, their son is a sitar player. He did his schooling from Jamnabai Narsee School whereas Antara works in the media industry. She studied at Oberoi International School and completed her education at HR College of Commerce and Economics. ALSO READ: Raju Srivastava Dies: Fans mourn the passing of comedian, remember their 'Gajodhar Bhaiya'
Raju Srivastava's Early Life
Born Satya Prakash Srivastava on December 25, 1963, to a middle-class family in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, his father, Ramesh Chandra Srivastava was a poet known as Balai Kaka. Since his childhood, Raju was fond of mimicry, which is why he wanted to be a comedian. After completing his early studies in Kanpur, Raju shifted to Mumbai with the dream of becoming a comedian.
He started his career by doing small roles in Bollywood films. The first part he played was in the 1998 film 'Tezaab', which was followed by the 1989 Salman Khan starrer 'Maine Pyaar Kiya' and 'Baazigar' in 1993. Apart from these, he also worked in 'Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa', 'Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon', 'Big Brother' and 'Bombay to Goa' among several other films. ALSO READ: Raju Srivastava dies: After making millions laugh, comedian passes away at 58
Raju then decided to venture into stand-up comedy after he took part as a contestant in Star One's show 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge' in 2005, where his comedy got a new identity. He bagged the first runner-up place in the show. During his stint on the show and even after that Raju, who was known most for his acute scrutiny and comical timing about various Indian aspects of life, became very popular for his stage character 'Gajodhar Bhaiya'.
Subsequently, he also took part in the show's spin-off, 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge - Champions', where he won the title of 'The King of Comedy'. After gaining popularity as a comedian, he worked in TV shows like 'Bigg Boss', 'Comedy Circus', 'Raju Hazir Ho', 'Comedy Ka Maha Muqabala' and 'Laugh India Laugh'.
(With ANI inputs)