"Jeena yahan marna yahan". With these words immortalised by the voice of Mukesh in Raj Kapoor's classic 'Mera Naam Joker', popular comedienne Bharti Singh remembered the late Raju Srivastava. The comedian-actor who was admitted to the hospital on August 10 following cardiac arrest passed away at 58. Raju was on the life support system for over a month. The news came as a shock to the entertainment industry and his family and friends.
Bharti, who was on the sets of her show, said "Just a few days back, I spoke to his wife and told her that he will be fine. He had made everyone laugh, so God will do justice to him. She asked me to pray for him and I said I pray for him every day. But today, just five minutes ago, I came to know about his demise and it came as a shock to me during the shoot."
She told IANS: "I am at the shoot and have to make everyone laugh, but I don't know how to do it. I am in pain but even then I can't say this to anyone that I want to cry."
"I have watched his movies and as a comedienne I learned a lot from him, but now who is going to guide us when the king of comedy is no more. I watched him on 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge', he inspired me a lot. It's a great loss for the entire country. I don't have words to express how I am feeling right now," Bharti added.
About Raju Srivastava
Known for his earthy humour and inimitable delivery style, comedian Raju Srivastav, who became a household name in his delightful 'Gajodhar Bhaiyya' persona, battled for his life for 43 days. He suffered a sudden heart attack on August 10 following which he was rushed to AIIMS Delhi. The actor was immediately shifted to ICU and was on life support. He did not gain consciousness for over 40 days and despite doctors' efforts, his health kept deteriorating even days after he suffered a heart attack. Doctors had shared that he has suffered brain damage following the heart attack. He was declared dead at 10:20 am on September 21, according to hospital sources. ALSO READ: Raju Srivastava Dies: Comedian is survived by his wife Shikha & their children; know more about them
Born on December 25, 1963, Satya Prakash Srivastava, who later became famous as Raju Srivastava, came from a middle-class family in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. A gifted mimic, the comedy star had his share of initial struggles before attracting notice by mimicking megastar Amitabh Bachchan's iconic baritone voice.
He first appeared in small roles in Bollywood films, such as the 1989 Salman Khan-starrer 'Maine Pyaar Kiya', where he essayed the role of Shambhu, a house help. He then appeared in Shah Rukh Khan's defining film 'Baazigar', which was released in 1993. ALSO READ: Raju Srivastava dies: After making millions laugh, comedian passes away at 58
Srivastava was then seen in films such as 'Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa' (2001), 'Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon' (2003), 'Big Brother' (2007) and 'Bombay To Goa' (2007), among many others.
His big breakthrough came in 2005 with the first season of 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge', which opened the doors for him in the world of stand-up comedy. He finished as second runner-up and then took part in the spin-off, 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge - Champions', where he was feted with the title of 'The King of Comedy'.
In 2009, he took over the cameras, quite literally, as he joined the reality show 'Bigg Boss 3'. Following that, he was seen in 'Comedy Ka Maha Muqabala'. ALSO READ: Raju Srivastava Dies: Fans mourn the passing of comedian, remember their 'Gajodhar Bhaiya'
He even branched out into politics! The Samajwadi Party fielded Srivastava from Kanpur in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, but he returned the ticked and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi named him to be a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, for which he has shot various TV commercials and social service videos.