New Delhi: Actor-comedian Raju Srivastava passed away on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack for the second time. Raju, who was admitted to AIIMS after he had a heart attack on August 10, was battling for his life for 41 days and was on a ventilator.
The comedian’s wife Shikha Srivastava, who has been inconsolable after his death, told ETimes, “I am not able to talk right now. What can I share or say now? He fought very hard, I was really hoping and praying to see him come out of this. But, that has not happened. All I can say is that he was a true fighter.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter to mourn Raju’s demise. He wrote, “Raju Srivastava brightened our lives with laughter, humour and positivity. He leaves us too soon but he will continue to live in the hearts of countless people thanks to his rich work over the years. His demise is saddening. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
Raju’s good friend and fellow stand-up comedian Sunil Pal said his late friend was justifiably called the ‘King of Comedy’.
Pal, who over the past 43 days, often asked admirers of the late comedian to stay positive and pray for his recovery, was in tears while speaking with IANS.
“He was fighting a battle for the past 40 days and never thought even in my dreams that he would leave us like this. I had wished this day would never come. It’s painful news for his family and everyone close to him. Even now I wish a miracle happens and he comes back, he told IANS.
Comedienne Bharti Singh also remembered him and said that she spoke to Raju’s wife a fe days back. “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,” she added.
Raju came to Mumbai to join the entertainment industry in the 1980s but he rose to fame rose to fame with the first-of-its-kind stand-up comedy talent hunt show ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’, in 2005.
His stage characters of Gajodhar and Manodhar on ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ have been loved by everyone.
Raju appeared in many Hindi films such as ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, ‘Baazigar’, ‘Bombay to Goa’ (remake) and ‘Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya’. He was one of the contestants on ‘Bigg Boss’ season three. He was the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council.
(With inputs from IANS)