Raju Srivastava has been cremated in Delhi. His last rites took place at Kashmere Gate's Nigambodh Ghat in New Delhi. After his battle in the ICU for over 40 days at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the popular comedian passed away on Wednesday (September 21). Raju Srivastava suffered a heart attack on August 10 while working out at a hotel. He was 58. He was rushed to AIIMS and underwent angioplasty. Since then, he was on a ventilator and never gained consciousness.
Earlier today, an ambulance decked up with white flowers left for the Nigambodh Ghat crematorium at Kashmere Gate around 9 am for the funeral, which also had veteran poet-humorists Surendra Sharma and Ashok Chakradhar in attendance.
Srivastava's son Ayushmaan performed the last rites as per Hindu rituals around 11 am, the comedian's younger brother Dipoo told PTI. "We left from the house in Dwarka at about 9 am for the funeral. Our family members from Kanpur and Lucknow are here," he added.
Industry colleagues Sunil Pal and Ahsaan Qureshi, director Madhur Bhandarkar and singer Ram Shankar along with hundreds of fans also reached the venue to pay last respects to the comedian. "It was heartwarming to see so many of his fans and colleagues come here to pay tribute to Raju bhai," said Dipoo. The family has yet to decide the venue for the prayer meeting, he further said.
Born in 1963 in Kanpur to Ramesh Srivastava, a government employee and a humour poet, and homemaker mother Saraswati, Srivastava was first noticed for his resemblance to megastar Amitabh Bachchan and later became popular for his observational stand-up sketches in and around his hometown.
The comic, whose career spanned almost four decades, played nameless bit parts in hit Hindi films such as "Maine Pyaar Kiya" and "Baazigar" before gaining nationwide fame as a participant in the 2005 reality comedy competition show "The Great Indian Laughter Challenge".
Srivastava is also survived by wife Shikha and daughter Antara.