Raju Srivastav is no more. One of India’s most famous comedians, and a pioneer of stand-up comedy, Raju Srivastav died after suffering a cardiac arrest a month back. He had been hospitalised in Delhi’s AIIMS. His entire family was with him in Delhi. India’s comedy great Johny Lever tells us a bit about their brotherhood. In an EXCLUSIVE chat, Johny Lever said that they got acquainted way back in 1985. He says, “He met me when he came from Kanpur to Mumbai in 1984-85. That time, I would have my audio cassettes Hasee Ke Hungame. He told me that he would listen to them, and learn from them. Later, I saw his work and found him very impressive. We have done shows together too. When he told me he is starting his Raju Srivastav nights in India I was very happy for him.”
Johny Lever speaks about how he was in touch with his wife, Shikha. He says, “Raju Srivastav and I are neighbours. She would call me almost daily. In between, they had taken him off the ventilator. Last week, he developed an infection which worsened matters. In the morning, Shikha called up and she was crying. She said he was bleeding. This was around 8. 30 am. She told me to pray. I have been praying for him. Then, she called again at 9.30 am saying it was critical. Later, we got the news that he has departed.”
Johny Lever also said that Raju Srivastav and he were office bearers of the stand up comics association. “He was a jolly person. Raju Srivastav was a workaholic. He was unstoppable and we had to tell him to calm down and rest a bit. After his entry in politics, we got less free time together. This is very sad. We have lost a younger brother,” he said.
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