Ashwini Kumar: Call him Pappu pager, call him calendar, Satish Kaushik lived cinema and as long as he lived, keep celebrating films and acting.
On the morning after Holi, when actor Anupam Kher, his friend from the days of National School of Drama, suddenly tweeted that Satish Kaushik was no more, it was a shock to every cinema lover.
The curtain fell on the theater of Satish Kaushik’s life
Coming to Delhi just after Holi, Satish Kaushik was in the car when he had a heart attack. He was taken to Fortis Hospital in Gurugram… but by then it was too late. Enlightening Hindi cinema with his presence for 42 years, 66-year-old Satish Kaushik, who considered theater as his first love, pulled the curtain down on the theater of his life.
‘I like this thing about the young generation’ – Film Chhatriwali
Just two days ago, Satish Kaushik had posted pictures of his smiling Holi party on social media. His pictures, his laughter at the Holi party at Janaki Kutir in Juhu, Mumbai… are now the last memories for Satish Kaushik’s fans. In the film Chhatriwali, everyone was smiling after listening to his style ‘Young generation ki yehi baat mujhe pasand hai’.
Satish Kaushik never gave up
The special thing was that he had never learned to accept defeat of Satish Kaushik Saheb and he used to narrate the stories of his love through films with great pride. Satish Kaushik’s friendship with cinema started in Nai Wali Gali of Karol Bagh area of Delhi.
Satish Kaushik went to see such a film
After stealing five rupees from his mother’s almirah, he and his friend went to the theater to watch Devanand and Waheeda Rehman’s superhit film Guide, and when they came back, they were beaten up in such a way that don’t ask, but Satish Kaushik did not feel sorry for the beating, but Guide Was happy.
Satish had said this while sitting on the cot with his father
Father Banwari Lal Kaushik used to work as a salesman of Harrison Locks for three hundred rupees, but does not stop his son Satish Kaushik from doing anything. Then little Satish Kaushik, sitting on the cot with father, would say that father, I want my name in the newspapers and luck also listened to him.
Joined Theater Group Players
Satish Kaushik’s love for acting and theater came from Kirori Mal College, Delhi, where he joined the theater group Players. In the beginning, during these pledges of college, Satish Kaushik used to forget that he was on the stage…. During the hooting of children in the college auditorium, he would also start talking to the audience.
Professor advised to make a career in acting
While leaving college, one of his favorite professors, who was also the head of the theater group, called Satish Kaushik home and advised him to pursue a career in acting. Satish was surprised, he said – who will make a person of his looks an actor in films… But the professor said to him, ‘Don’t think like this Satish, when I see you performing on stage, you I find you most beautiful.
Satish Kaushik had chosen his path
He also got Satish Kaushik admission in the National School of Drama. But when Satish ji’s brothers came to know about this, they said that ‘do any job, do small work, where will you become an actor with this face’, but Satish Kaushik had chosen his own path.
Seeing and understanding cinema from a director’s point of view
During the course of NSD, Satish Kaushik also met Anupam Kher, which turned into an unbreakable friendship. Here Satish Kaushik did great plays, read biographies and then during the joint course of NSD and FFTI Pune, in the last 6 months he started studying films. In Pune itself, Satish Kaushik felt that he had to become a director, to see and understand cinema through the eyes of a director.
Arora Textiles Mills jobs
After studying acting, he had to go to Mumbai to try his luck in films, but Satish Kaushik was not one of those who would go straight to Mayanagari to struggle, because he was very fond of food… he could live without food. Couldn’t So Satish Kaushik thought why not do a job in Mumbai for one year and try acting in the rest of the time. In Mumbai, on the recommendation of his father, he got a job in Arora Textiles Mills.
Acting at Prithvi Theater
Satish used to work in textile mill in the morning and act in Prithvi Theater in the evening. It was his acting prowess that earned him a small role in the debut film Chakra, which starred Naseeruddin Shah and Smita Patil.
Calendar role in Mr. India
A spot boy from Prithvi Theater told Satish Kaushik that director Shekhar Kapur is doing his new film Masoom… he needs an assistant, so Satish Kaushik went inside the airport without ticket to meet him and asked for work for himself. From here also got a chance to act in the film Masoom. This pairing with Shekhar Kapur got him the role of Calendar in Mr. India, which became Satish Kaushik’s biggest identity.
Sippy sir asked for video of Satish’s work
Earlier, for every small character, Satish Kaushik had to submit a recommendation to the directors. Javed Akhtar used to help Satish Kaushik a lot, he sent Satish Kaushik to director Ramesh Sippy… So Sippy Sahab asked Satish ji for a video of his work.
Don’t give the video of ‘Satish Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’
By then Kundan Shah’s death had also come to two friends, in which Satish Kaushik was also there. Satish Kaushik thought that if he gave this video to Ramesh Sippy, it would work… So Javed Akhtar stopped him, saying ‘Don’t give the video of Satish Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, there are better actors than you’.
These films were flop
Satish Kaushik’s career took off after Mr. India’s calendar was made. Started getting work in films. Their pairing with Anil Kapoor became very strong. He made his first big budget film with Anil Kapoor and Sridevi, which was a total flop. His second big film Prem was also a flop… But Anil Kapoor’s trust remained on Satish Kaushik.
Satish Kausish’s coin started working
Anil Kapoor convinced the producer of Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain that Satish ji should direct this film and with this, Satish Kaushish’s coin started in direction as well. After this super duper hit films like Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hain and Tere Naam increased the stature of Satish Kaushik a lot. His last directorial film was Kaagaz, which released on OTT and was a huge success.
Satish Kaushik said goodbye to the world
Even at the age of 66, everyone kept accepting the iron of Satish Kaushik’s performance. He taught the character artist to see and be seen in a new way. Seeing Satish Kaushik in the character of Manu Mundra in Hansal Mehta’s web series 1992 Scam, people were left teary-eyed and in Kangana Ranaut’s film Emergency too, Satish Kaushik had completed the shooting of Babu Jagjivan Ram’s character. Satish Kaushik, who blooms in every colour, said goodbye to the world by spreading his colors in Holi, then as if everyone’s face lost colour.