Satish Kaul Dies Of Covid

Not many remember Satish Kaul as Rehana Sultan’s handsome  lover  in the  1973  drama Prem Parbat where he played the sexed-up forest ranger  Rehana ran to for  sex when her  aged husband Nana Palsikar  was  asleep.

It  was a bold film and Satish  got lead roles  in   off-beat Hindi films like Nek Parveen ,Mere Sartaj ,and Ang Se Ang Laga Le . Like most  failed  lead actors Satish   soon switched to supporting roles  in big budget  films  like Shiva ka Insaaf and Inaam Dus Hazaar. He had  insignificant roles in  two Pahlaj Nihalani productions Ilzaam and Aag Hi Aag.

Pahlajji remembers Satish as  “hard working, friendly, hungry for work, always  eager  to face the camera,always wondering where the next meal would come  from.”

  Bitter and  frustrated for the lack of work in Hindi cinema, Satish moved to Punjabi cinema where he had a relatively more successful innings with  films like Jatt Punjabi, Lacchi and Rano.He was labeled  the  ‘Amitabh Bachchan Of Punjabi cinema’.

Not that  it helped  sustain his career.When  roles in Punjab too began  to dry up Satish moved to Indian television. He played small parts on television  . He was seen in  Vikram-Vetal and Mahabharat

In recent years his financial  condition went  from bad to worse. With no family of his own(his wife apparently  divorced him and left the country) Satish was forced  to live in a charity  home in Ludhiana.He died penniless in a hospital in Ludhiana, hungry for work, hungry for love, hungry for dignity.And just hungry.

No  money for food. Satish’s final years are a lesson to all actors and technicians in  Indian cinema  who have no savings to fall back on  during hard times.  I  remember  the actress Vimi of the 1970s  , a grand B R Chopra discovery who was launched with fanfare  in the hit Humraaz. Soon her career floundered  and flopped. With no money and career she drank herself  to death.

Her corpse had to be  loaded on a hand cart to be taken to the crematorium. Satish  Kaul  was  a bit less unfortunate.

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