It’s a sad day for comedy lovers today as ace comedian Raju Srivastav took his last breath today. The actor and comedian – who is well known for his mimicry of Amitabh Bachchan passed away earlier today after spending around 40 days at AIIMS Delhi. As we mourn the artist, we take you back to when he spoke about his arrival in Mumbai and how he earned his keep.
While the late comedian is mainly known for his appearance on comedy shows like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, Comedy Nights with Kapil and other shows, Raju joined the entertainment industry in the 1980s. Besides starring in films like Maine Pyar Kiya, Bombay to Goa and Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya, he also appeared as a contestant on Bigg Boss 3 in 2009.
During an appearance on the show Aap Ki Adalat more than a decade ago, Raju Srivastav was asked about his obsession with Amitabh Bachchan not only to get recognition in college but also when he came to Mumbai. Stating that he started his career by imitating Amitabh, the late comedian continued in Hindi, “Mai bahut chota tha jab Amitabh Bachchan ka asar mere upar hua. Baacha buddhi thi,, toh unka mai apna idol bana liye – abhi bhi woh mere idol hai aur rahenge. (I was very young when I started getting influenced by Amitabh Bachchan. I was a child, and I had made him my idol. Even after all these years, I have no qualms in saying that he remains my idol, and will always be).”
Continuing further, Raju Srivastav added, “Jab Bombay aaya – bhuka, pyasa, idhar-udhar kaam nahi mil raha, job nahi mil raha, naukri nahi mil rahi… Toh maine kissi music wale/orchestra ko bataya ki mai Amitabh ke dialogues suna sakta hu.” Adding that he got his first gig in Mumbai as he could imitate Amitabh Bachchan and his voice, the comedian said, “ Uss samay Amitabh ke aawaz mai mimicry karne wale nahi the. Log Dev Anand ke bahut karte the, Dilip Kumar ke, Shatrughan Sinha ke, Om Prakash… Amitabh Bachchan koi nahi karta tha. Toh maine unke sunay aur woh log ne mujhe le liya. (I got my first gig only because I could imitate his voice, say his famous dialogues. At the time, there weren’t many people who could mimic him well. People used to imitate Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar or Shatrughan Sinha).”
Raju added in Hindi, “Because of him (Amitabh), I could buy food, I earned my first ₹50, ₹75 and then ₹100 for 2 years… Hence, he has played a huge role in ensuring I have a career and a life in Mumbai.”Watch the video here:
May Raju Srivastav’s soul rest in peace.