Despite many accomplishments, the actor Satish Kaushik never quite received the recognition he deserved. Typecast as a comic actor, some of his more impressive performances went unnoticed by masses
Last Updated: 05.08 PM, Mar 09, 2023
Veteran actor Satish Kaushik breathed his last in Gurugram on Thursday, March 9, 2023. The actor celebrated Holi in Mumbai and came to Delhi-NCR to visit his friend. While he was travelling in a car, Kaushik suffered a cardiac arrest and was shifted to Fortis Hospital. His mortal remains were sent to Mumbai. A number of B-Town celebrities including Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar among others visited the late actor’s abode to pay their last respects to the legend.
While his career spanned over four decades, acting stint ensnared Satish Kaushik during his college years at Kirorimal College, Delhi, which is known for some notable alumni titans like Habib Faisal. After honing his skill at NSD and FTII, Kaushik started his career not only as an actor but also as supportive in script and dialogue writing in the cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, followed by working as an assistant director in Mr India.
Unfortunately, his first two ambitious projects as director were big disasters when released. Anybody remember Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and Prem? Both produced by his friend Boney Kapoor. But later on, he gave some average hits in form of Southern remake garb. However, it is believed that his talent did not fully materialize in the form of a director. It was his acting itch that gained more of audience love and appreciation!
Kaushik had an amazing sense of comic timing, his core natural flair! During the 90s he was in his prime, usually as a comic character or sidekick of a hero. Just look at the potpourri of quirky colourful shades and characters he played in mainstream Hindi films: Calendar (Mr India), Sub Inspector Ramu Ghadiali (Jalwa), Kashiram (Ram Lakhan), Airport (Swarg), Banke Bihari Chaturvedi aka BBC (Jamai Raja), Panipuri Sharma (Andaz), Mutthu Swamy (Saajan Chale Sasural), Pappu Pager (Deewana Mastana), Sharafat Ali (Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan) and Mr Pareshan (Aunty No. 1). Some of these are not just routine comic relief characters. He could turn you emotional in a matter of seconds; turn your smile to tears in the same role, often better than the main lead!
One of the most indelible collaborations in the annals of Indian cinema belongs to Satish Kaushik and Neena Gupta, whose onscreen chemistry sparked with electric alacrity in the uproarious comedy classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. But their connection extended far beyond the limelight, as Gupta chronicled in her memoir Sach Kahun Toh. The actress warmly recalled their enduring friendship, which spanned decades and endured through various tumults of life.
One particularly poignant moment was when Gupta, still unmarried, found herself pregnant with the child of West Indian cricket icon Viv Richards. Kaushik, ever the loyal and compassionate friend, suggested a bold plan to shield her from the vicious censure of society. He proposed that they wed and that he publicly assume paternity of the child, sparing Gupta the unforgiving scrutiny of the world. It was a noble and selfless gesture from a man who embodied the virtues of true friendship.
Despite his many accomplishments, Kaushik never quite received the recognition he deserved as an actor. Typecast as a comic actor, some of his more impressive performances went unnoticed by the masses, such as his roles in Sudhir Mishra's Calcutta Mail, Dev Benegal's Road, Mahesh Bhatt's Daddy and Gavron's Brick Lane. Even in small or half-baked roles, Kaushik managed to imbue his characters with touching humanity.
Among many, it is widely accepted that Kaushik's talents were never showcased nor appreciated as a director. It was his acting prowess that truly captured the hearts and minds of his audience. His innate sense of comic timing was unparalleled, and he brought a natural flair to every role he played.
His exit from directing at the age of 66, left a significant void in the industry, especially when his last directorial piece Kaagaz showcased the touches learned and perfected over his long career. He had much more in him as an artist. His friends from the film fraternity called him a gentleman friend but for us as an audience, Satish Kaushik will rest in performances... forever impressed on celluloid and collective memories!