Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Satish Kaushik, famed as ‘Calendar’ in ‘Mr. India’, passes away at 67

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Actor-filmmaker Satish Kaushik, known for his memorable comic roles in films such as “Jaane Bhi do Yaaro” and “Mr India”, passed away following a heart attack early Thursday morning. He was 66.

According to friend and colleague Anupam Kher, Kaushik was at a friend’s home in Delhi when he complained of uneasiness.

“He felt uneasy and he told his driver to take him to the hospital and on the way he suffered a heart attack around 1 am,” Kher told PTI.

In a tweet earlier, Kher said he was shocked to hear about Kaushik’s sudden death.
“I know that death is the ultimate truth but never in my dreams I thought that I would have to write this about my best friend Satish Kaushik. A sudden full stop to 45 years of friendship. Life will never be the same without you Satish! Om Shanti,” Kher tweeted.

An alumnus of the National School of Drama and the Film and Television Institute of India, Kaushik was a multi-faceted personality who co-wrote the dialogues for Kundan Shah’s “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro” with Ranjit Kapoor. He also played the role of Ashok, the assistant to Pankaj Kapur’s corrupt contractor Tarneja in 1983 cult classic.

Another memorable role of Kaushik is of the lovable Calendar in Shekhar Kapoor’s sci-fi drama “Mr India”, the cook at the orphanage run by Anil Kapoor’s character in the film.
Kapoor and Kaushik worked together in a number of films such as “Ram Lakhan”, “Jamai Raja”, “Andaz”, “Gharwali Baharwali” and Kaushik’s directorial debut “Roop Ki Raani Choron Ka Raja” among other directorial ventures.

Kaushik’s comic pairing with Govinda yielded some of the biggest hits of the 90s in films such as “Swarg”, “Saajan Chale Sasural”, “Deewana Mastana”, “Pardesi Babu”, “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan”, “Aunty No 1” and “Haseena Maan Jayegi” to name a few.

He was a successful director with a wide-ranging filmography that began with 1993’s “Roop Ki Raani Choron Ka Raja”, had hits such “Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain”, “Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai”, “Badhaai Ho Badhaai”, Salman Khan-starrer hit “Tere Naa” that memorably sparked a middle-parted hairstyle trend in youngsters.        

He also directed “Vaada”, “Shadi Se Pehle”, “Karzzz”, “Milenge Milenge”, “Gang of Ghosts” and most recently, the 2021 film “Kaagaz” with Pankaj Tripathi.

Kaushik’s last post on his official Twitter account was a series of pictures from the annual Holi celebrations organised by noted lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar on March 7 in Mumbai.
“Colourful Happy Fun #Holi party at Janki Kutir Juhu by @Javedakhtarjadu @babaazmi @AzmiShabana @tanviazmi.. Met the newly wed beautiful couple @alifazal9 @RichaChadha .. Wishing Happy Holi to everyone #friendship #festival #Holi2023 #colors,” he wrote.

Actor Kangana Ranaut, who worked with Kaushik in her upcoming film “Emergency”, remembered the actor as a “kind and genuine man”.”Woke up to this horrible news, he was my biggest cheerleader, a very successful actor and director #SatishKaushik ji personally was also a very kind and genuine man, I loved directing him in Emergency. He will be missed, Om Shanti,” she tweeted.

Manoj Bajpayee said Kaushik’s death was a “great loss” for the film fraternity.“Completely shocked to read this! What a great loss for all of us and his family! Condolences to his family & friends!May you rest in peace Satish Bhai !” Expressing his condolences, filmmaker Hansal Mehta remembered Kaushik as an actor, who is hungry for better characters and a passionate storyteller.

“Satish ji gone too soon. Don’t even know how to say that you will be missed dearly. Your hunger for better characters, your passion for stories and your love for life are irreplaceable. Our film together ‘Ek Director Ki Maut’ now is no longer a film. Om Shanti,” he said.

Actor-director Soni Razdan said she is in disbelief about the demise of her “Mandi” co-star, who she fondly remembered as a ‘jolly gentle soul’.

“Shocked and heartbroken to hear our contemporary @satishkaushik2 is no more. Many of us met him for the first time while we were shooting Mandi. He was a jolly gentle soul always laughing. It’s very hard to believe he’s gone. RIP dear Satish we will miss you terribly,” she said.

Born in Haryana and raised in Delhi’s Karol Bagh, Kaushik always dreamed of becoming an actor. This took him to the NSD and then to Mumbai. In interviews, Kaushik often recalled how he left for the city of dreams with Rs 800, given to him by his brother-in-law, and a conviction that he would make it big.

A young Kaushik worked at a textile mill during the day and spent his evenings at Mumbai’s famed Prithvi theatre. would eventually find work with Shekhar Kapoor as an assistant before making a mark in acting and then direction.

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