Satish Kaushik: The actor who fought for his place in Bollywood

Bollywood actor and director Satish Kaushik has died at the age of 66 in India’s capital Delhi, BBC reported.

His nephew Nishaan Kaushik told BBC Hindi that the actor suffered a heart attack on Thursday morning.

He was travelling in a car at the time and was rushed to a hospital, where doctors said he was dead on arrival.

Kaushik wore many hats in the Hindi film industry as an actor, producer, comedian and screenwriter.

His breakthrough role came in the 1987 hit Mr India, where he played a cook named Calendar. The role showcased the comic timing he would later become known for. A generation of Bollywood fans grew up on jokes, sketches and satire based on the iconic character of Calendar.

In the film, Kaushik’s Calendar takes care of a group of orphaned children and cooks for them. His constant run-ins with the children leads to humorous dialogues and funny situations.

“Calendar khana do” [Calendar, give us food] was a dialogue that the children in the film often repeated and it became part of the lives of Indians who grew up in the 1990s.

He played memorable characters in several other films such as Ram Lakhan, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro and Deewana Mastana.

His success came on the back of decades of hard work. Born on 13 April 1956, Kaushik grew up in a middle-class family in Delhi’s Karol Bagh area. He went on to study in the city’s Kirori Mal College, where his love for theatre took wings.

His early days shaped him as an actor, director and writer. He later joined the National School of Drama but it was his time at the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India that fuelled his Bollywood dreams.

He was active on Twitter, where he often shared memories of his career. In 2020, he had posted a photo of his arrival in Mumbai city in 1979 to become an actor – the tweet was met with an outpouring of love and affection.

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