Days before Raju Srivastava passed away, actor Amitabh Bachchan surprised the comic in the hospital with a scene right out of a movie. As his character, a doctor, did for a guy who is terminally sick and is played by Rajesh Khanna in the movie “Anand,” “Big B” left a voice message for Srivastava encouraging him to open his eyes and restart life (1971).
Raju Srivastava was Amitabh Bachchan’s most well-known impersonator or “double,” and he was a lifetime devotee. They also shared a common link in that they were both from Uttar Pradesh and Amitabh Bachchan’s original surname was Srivastava.
Amitabh Bachchan claimed in a tribute on his blog that he was requested to send the late comedian a voice message to wake him up while he was receiving treatment at the AIIMS in Delhi. He did not expressly name Raju Srivastava.
“Another colleague friend and creative artist leaves us.. a sudden ailment and gone before time .. before his creativity time completion .. each day in the morning with him in spirit and information from near ones .. they got advised to send a voice to awaken his condition… I did .. they played it for him in his state in his ears,” Mr. Bachchan wrote, claiming that “on one instance he did open his eye a bit, and then went away.”
“His sense of timing and the colloquial humor of his birth shall remain with us .. it was unique, open, frank, and filled with humor.. he smiles from the Heavens now and will be the reason for mirth with the God,” Mr Bachchan further wrote.
When I saw Amitabh Bachchan’s “Deewar,” Raju Srivastava stated in an interview, “I became a devotee of imitation and humor. I used to buy his posters and hang them in my home, so much so. I started acting like him after getting his hairdo.
On September 21, Raju Srivastava, age 58, passed away. Since being hospitalized at the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on August 10 due to a cardiac arrest, he has been kept alive on life support.
He has been in the entertainment business since the 1980s, and in 2005, he took part in the reality competition “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge,” which helped him achieve international renown.
His wife and two kids are left behind.