His qualities as an actor and successes as a director, though extraordinary, could not eclipse Satish Kaushik’s greatest gift – his self-effacing talent. A man and a professional of singular subtlety, he radiated infectious joy of living On and off screen.
Kaushik, who passed away in Gurugram on the night of March 8, traveled from Delhi’s Karol Bagh to the Mumbai film industry (via a few institutional pit stops that shaped him) without losing his solid ground. He kept learning and growing.
Kaushik could rest easy at his helm, enjoying continued success both in front of and behind the film camera since the mid-1980s. He did not. He kept his creative options open, especially in the second half of his Bollywood career.
Nearly a decade into his stint as a film director, Kaushik told this writer: “I have been working non-stop ever since I made we live in your heart in 1999. Since then I have one release every year. I want to take some time off now…I am looking for creative renewal.’
In pursuit of that goal, he lent his support to, among others, Nagesh Kukunoor’s Lakshmi, a brutally graphic human trafficking drama, and N Padmakumar’s Lakshmi. a billion color storyA film that seeks hope in an atmosphere of despair. Kaushik not only made cameo appearances in the two films, but he also co-produced them.
He cherished his dream of directing his first global film. title at start Lal Bihari deceased, it was about a villager in Uttar Pradesh who was presumed dead in state revenue records and was forced to fight tooth and nail to prove he was alive. Kaushik planned to bring in foreign technicians for the film.
It was around the time British filmmaker Sarah Gavron brick Lane, adapted from Monica Ali’s novel of the same name, took Kaushik to international festivals. He could see that there was a whole world out there that he could try to break.
It took Kaushik a decade and a half to complete the project. It took the form of a Zee5 original film paper, starring Pankaj Tripathi. If nothing else, the 2021 film, though a scaled down version of what he had envisioned, was a testament to the actor-director’s tenacity and his unwavering commitment to his craft.
Kaushik’s passion stems from his exposure to the finest works of playwrights (at the National School of Drama) and world cinema masters (at the Film and Television Institute of India) as a young man. It was at the two premier institutions that the Kirori Mal College, Delhi graduate developed a deep reverence for quality theater and cinema.
Even after making a name for himself as an exceptionally talented comedian and director of several blockbuster films in Mumbai, including the Salman Khan-starrer To you, Kaushik itched to return to the stage. he did before Mr. and Mrs. Murarilalin which he played an ex-army cook who sings and dances away his sorrows, and then acts Salesman RamlalHindi adaptation of Arthur Miller death of a salesman,
Kaushik arrived in Mumbai in the late 1970s as a 22-year-old. He played a small role in a play by Prithvi Theatre, Scorpion, which featured Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri. After doing odd jobs for a year and a half, he co-wrote the dialogues for Kundan Shah let it go, friends (1983).
As luck would have it, every 1983 film in which Kaushik acted – let it go, friends, those 7 days (which put Anil Kapoor on the road to stardom), Innocent (the directorial debut of Shekhar Kapur) and Shyam Benegal Market – Considered a milestone of Hindi cinema.
Two years later, Shekhar Kapur cast him mr india, The character, Calendar, left a mark on the minds of Hindi film fans. Every year from there, the actor had multiple releases. While comedy was his forte, the versatile artist did not limit himself to any one genre.
In the 1990s when director David Dhawan and actor Govinda were at their peak as a team, Kaushik was a fixture in virtually every burlesque comedy that the combo delivered. were in Husband going to in-laws housewhere Kaushik was the tabla player Muthuswamy, and crazy mastana (1997), in which he made the character of Pappu Pager so famous that Dhawan wrote another character by the same name We are not less than anybodyMade after five years.
The exceptionally spontaneous actor had many more productive years left in him in Kaushik, which was recently evident from his stupendous performance in the SonyLIV web series, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, Every scene he was a part of and every line he delivered proved, if proof was needed, that spontaneity was his forte.
The curtain has come down too soon on an illustrious career, but the joy that entertainer Satish Kaushik spread will live on forever.