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India lost a laugh, ‘Gajodhar Bhaiya’ is no more

New Delhi | Comedian Raju Srivastava, who became a household name in his delightful ‘Gajodhar Bhaiya’ persona, breathed his last at the age of 59 on Wednesday, September 21. The popular comedian fought for his life for 43 days. Raju Srivastava passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he was taken on August 9 after complaining of chest pain. Raju had pain while doing gym and at the same time he fainted and fell on the floor.

Srivastava was immediately taken to the Intensive Care Unit and put on a ventilator. The doctors said that he had a brain haemorrhage.

Born on 25 December 1963, Satya Prakash Srivastava, later popularly known as Raju Srivastava, belonged to a middle-class family in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

A talented mimic, the comedy star had grabbed attention by imitating the iconic baritone voice of megastar Amitabh Bachchan. Since then, he has been invited for many shows. Before this, Raju had struggled for a long time.

He first appeared in small roles in Bollywood films such as the 1989 Salman Khan-starrer ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’, where he played the role of Shambhu, a domestic servant.

He then appeared in Shah Rukh Khan’s defining film ‘Baazigar’, which released in 1993.

Srivastava was then seen in several other films like ‘Aamdani Athani Kharkha Rupaiya’ (2001), ‘Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon’ (2003), ‘Big Brother’ (2007) and ‘Bombay to Goa’ (2007).

His major breakthrough came in 2005, however, with the first season of ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’, which opened doors for him in the world of stand-up comedy. where he came out as the second runner-up.

Then took part in the spin-off, ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge – Champions’, where he was awarded the title ‘The King of Comedy’.

In 2009, she literally took over the camera after joining the reality show ‘Bigg Boss 3’. After this he appeared in ‘Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla’.

In 2013, Srivastava along with his wife Shikha participated in the popular dance show ‘Nach Baliye’ Season 6. Soon after, he also appeared in ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’.

He even ventured into politics! The Samajwadi Party had fielded Srivastava from Kanpur in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but he returned the ticket and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi nominated her to be a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, for which she shot various TV commercials and social service videos.

He is survived by wife Shikha, whom he married in 1993. They have two children – Antara and Ayushmann.

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