Actor, director, producer, screenwriter– these are some of the many hats Satish Kaushik has donned in his career spanning over four decades. The news of his death has evoked heart-wrenching responses from all sections of Bollywood with famous celebrities like Anupam Kher, Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan, and Anil Kapoor among others offering their respects.
Kaushik won two Filmfare Awards in his career for his stellar comedy in ‘Saajan Chale Sasural’ and ‘Ram Lakhan’. The multi-talented veteran’s first stint as an actor was with ‘Masoom’ in 1983 and his first film on the director’s chair was ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’ in 1993.
However, it was his role as the adorable cook Calendar in ‘Mr. India’, released in 1987, which earned Kaushik widespread recognition. The on-screen character became his off-screen identity, which Kaushik adopted wholeheartedly. He also won the Screen Videocon For Philips Top Ten for co-writing and hosting a show.
Being an alumnus of both the Indian Film and Television Institute and the National School of Drama, Kaushik was famous for his dialogue delivery and comic timing. He started out in theatre before moving on to the world of cinema.
Here’s a look at some of the iconic scenes chronicling the veteran star’s comic genius and acting prowess, which gave 90’s Bollywood its distinct flavour of comedy and humour.
Hum Apke Dil Mey Rahte Hai
The scene between Johnny Lever and Satish Kaushik leaves the audience in splits as the two try to negotiate a deal for the repayment of debt. “Sabar karte karte mai toh kabar tak pahunch jaunga”, says German (played by Kaushik). The scene is a hilarious embodiment of how a debtor (played by Lever) can keep on avoiding their creditor and how far can the two parties go for the resettlement of their dues.
In a series of phone calls made by Kaushik’s character to Lever in order to ask for repayment of a debt, Lever each time assumes the voice of a different person to misguide him into thinking that he has dialled a wrong number. The comedy reaches its peak when Lever starts speaking in Marathi to pull off the same ruse only for Kaushik to make the next call with a Marathi language guidebook in his hand.
Badey Miyan Chotey Miyan
The scene features Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda fighting off a group of thugs, which is a typical scene from any Bollywood movie. What makes the scene truly stand out is Satish Kaushik’s comical commentary on the ensuing fight. Referring to the two heroes, he says he is seeing Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan in a dhoti for the first time.
Hadh Kar Di Aapne
Yet another hilarious pair-up of Govinda and Kaushik, where Mr. Chaudhuri (Kaushik’s character) says that Raju (Govinda’s character) is the first detective he has seen who carries a donkey with him instead of a dog. The scene involves Raju helping Mr. Chaudhuri to the upper balcony of a villa in the middle of the night, which Raju says is difficult given his weight. To this, Kaushik in his anecdotal style replies that his words also have a lot of weight like his body weight.
Kaushik plays the role of a thug ‘Pappu Pager’ and the dialogue delivery and comical anecdotes make the scene a classical epitome of the 90’s Bollywood humour. He is seen threatening someone over the phone and refers to himself as “Bhunnu Mobile ka bhai Pappu Pager”. The acting delivered by Govinda and Anupam Kher increases the comical quotient of the scene exponentially.
Udta Punjab and more
The early half of his career saw Kaushik primarily don the hat of being the comical relief, the actor in Satish Kaushik became far more selective and experimental as he went on to deliver impactful performances in Udta Punjab, Thar and most notably ‘Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta story’ where he played the role of Manu Mundra.
Despite a short role, Kaushik’s Manu Mundra truly stood out among the troupe of intriguing characters and went on to imprint the ruthless image of the Big Bear in the stock market against Harshad Mehta played by Pratik Gandhi. The power and impact of the Bear gang scene in the series where Kaushik’s character along with others plot the downfall of Harshad Mehta is exceptional and makes Scam 1992 truly one of the best series of 2020.