Raju Srivastava, one of India’s most well-known stand-up comedians, died on Wednesday at the age of 58. He had a cardiac arrest on August 10 while working out at the gym in Delhi and was rushed to All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). The actor was placed on life support and moved right away to the intensive care unit. He had not regained consciousness for more than a month, and despite the efforts of the doctors, his condition was getting worse. He experienced brain damage as a result of the heart attack, according to doctors.
Thousands of live performances by the actor-comedian have taken place all over the world, including in the US, Britain, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Fiji, Dubai, Bangkok, and Hong Kong.
But some of the characters he played were forever etched in the memory of his fans. Here is a list of some of his most-liked characters and stand-up acts.
Gajodhar Bhaiya was a character developed by Mr Srivastava, who was a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan and chose to pursue acting as a career after seeing him on screen. He presented it to the wider audience in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, which aired on TV between 2005 and 2017.
He frequently used Gajodhar in his performances, and as a result, the character eventually developed a reputation.
The character was based on his encounters with different types of people in Uttar Pradesh, where he was born. Most of the time, Gajodhar spoke in the “Awadhi” dialect (popular in some parts of Uttar Pradesh) and reacted to everything around him in an odd and humorous way.
Gajodhar gained such a following that Raju Srivastava was given this nickname by the viewers.
Sankata, Baijanaath, and Puttan
Raju Srivastava always took inspiration for his characters from the people in his immediate surroundings. A smile blossoms on the viewer’s face as soon as names like Gajodhar, Sankata, Baijnath, and Puttan come to mind.
One such act was when Gajodhar went to a cinema hall with all his friends, Sankata, Baijanaath, and Puttan. They appealed to North Indians living in various parts of the country.
A major part of Raju’s comedy has been centred around the railway station. One of the popular lines from his acts is: “Aye Yadav, Sankatha, Gajodhar, Birju, E train Apna chhuta ya baju wala (Hey Yadav, Sankatha, Gajodhar, Birju – has our train started or the one standing next to us?)” It became so popular that most railway station memes are still based on it today. Short videos are still made with Raju’s voice.
Indian marriages and Unhappy ‘Jijaji‘ and ‘Fufaji‘ (brother-in-law and uncle) in it
Indian families are known to splurge on weddings, but the bride and groom are not the only centres of attraction. Whether they like it or not, some other guests occasionally steal the show by becoming the subject of gossip for their actions. Mr Srivastava, known for his observational humour, presented humorous anecdotes from these weddings, which became huge hits.
In of his acts, the comedian made a humorous point about how the guests feel nervous about eating at weddings when the cameraman starts focussing on them. He had highlighted how the Jijaji and Phuphaji were constantly grumbling about the services and accommodations offered during the weddings – these points immediately connected with the audience and catapulted Mr Srivastava to fame.
“Shaadi mein sabse kharab haalat tabh hoti hai jab lighting mein lakhon rupaye kharcha kiya hai lekin generator nahi mangaya jata hai (The worst situation in marriage occurs when lakhs of rupees have been spent on lighting but the generator has not been ordered),” was one such dialogue.
The Indian entertainment industry and the stand-up comedy fraternity have lost one of the best and finest performers. Raju Srivastava will be missed by his millions of fans in India and around the world.