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Farewell, Satish Kaushik…



Satish Kaushik

How  does  one  say  goodbye to a friend  who left so suddenly? Just  two days  ago  we caught  up with one another  for Holi,  promising to chat soon.

“Subhash,we must catch up  soon. Very soon. Kal kissne dekha hai.Let’s  not ignore  our good friends…”

And now, this….

Satish  was(the past tense makes the future seem so imperfect) a friend, a  good friend.He cared. And he  didn’t have a single mean bone in his  body. He never  had a negative word to say  about  anybody,  not even those who  harmed him.

Usski  koi majboori hogi issiliye  ussne  aisa  kiya hoga,” he once said  about  a filmmaker who had been nasty to him.

He  gently rebuked me  for being critical. “Subhash, life is  so short. I totally believe  in making the best of it , like Anand  Sehgal(in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand). Khushi baat-te raho, dost banaate raho.

You  won’t find a  single person  in the  film industry  who  didn’t like  Satish. Even when he  directed hideous  films  like  the remake  of  Subhash  Ghai’s Karzzz  and  Gang Of Ghosts, he  was quickly  forgiven.Who could hold anything against Satish?

That  reminds me, he was  the only  actor/filmmaker who never held criticism  against me. I remember I didn’t like his last directorial Kaagaz, and I could tell him that without the  fear of a prolonged cold  war.

But  he was true to his  character.  “Subhash, I  respect your opinion. When you’ve liked my films..khul ke taarif ki hai. If  you don’t like  Kaagaz I respect that too. Next one,  you will love. I promise  you.”

As an actor Satish was peerless. He could play anything from the  doting cook to the  brood of kids in Shekhar Kapoor’s  Mr India to the despicable  paedophile  in Nagesh Kukunoor’s Lakshmi.

I remember his  self-loathing while playing the paedophile. Satish’s  daughter had just been  born. “Every evening after the shooting I feel so sick inside.Bachchon ke  saath  jo  aisa karte hain unhe beech chaurahe  pe goli maar dena  chahiye.”

Sixteen years after he tragically lost his son Shanu, 56-year-old  Satish was a father again. The baby girl named Vanshika was born on July 15, 2012  through surrogacy.

Satish  was jubilant, ” It is the end of a long and painful wait for a child. It is a matter of unimaginable joy especially for my wife who had her heart set on another child ever since we lost our only son Shanu when he was just two-years-old.”

Satish rediscovered the joys  of  fatherhood after 16 years. “Ever since Vanshika came last month, my wife Shanu and I have become like first-time parents ,enjoying every movement of our baby, feeding her, changing her diapers.We were unfortunate in having lost our only child. Our world had come crashing down. But thanks to the world of medical miracles, we’ve become parents again at an age when parenthood is considered impossible.”

Satish last two birthdays (on April 13)  were  during the pandemic.

When   it happened  a second time, Satish  was   inconsolable. “My consecutive  second lockdown birthday . Last year being at home celebrated virtually with friends Anil(Kapoor) and  Anupam(Kher) . It was fun to celebrate in an unique manner which was an invention in the grim period of Corona .”

In 2021  it was  again a  virtual birthday for Satish. “But this time it has brought lot of happiness  and relief because me and my daughter Vanshika were infected with COVID and after going through   lot of agony we both were  home and recovered just before my birthday to be Corona Warriors . So on my birthday I thank my friends   like Shabana Azmi , Anupam Kher , Anil Kapoor , Javed Akhtar , Rumi Jaffery who stood by me in this period like a rock and I dedicate my 65th birthday to them and doctors,  nurses and staff at Kokilaben Hospital who brought Happy Birthday for me and Vanshika.”

Vanishka will now have to  bring in her doting daddy’s birthday  next month  without him.

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