Sunil Pal: Raju Srivastava Was, Is and Will Always Remain the King of Stand-up Comedy

Comedian Sunil Pal says Raju Srivastava was a person who would encourage and motivate emerging talent.

Comedian Sunil Pal recollects doing several stage shows and The Great Indian Laughter Challenge with Raju Srivastava, who passed away on Sep 21.

It’s really difficult to process this unfortunate event. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that Raju Srivastava is not with us. He was a brave warrior and fought till his last breathe. I had the honour and pleasure to work with Raju Bhai on numerous occasions.

We did a lot of stage shows together, participated in reality shows and even did films together. He always made sure people would have a smile on their face. He had an amazing sense of humour and would often entertain everyone. I still recall the days when we did The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He was, is and will always remain the king of stand up comedy.

We were more than friends. Our family knew each other and we would often meet and discuss our individual work. The last time I met him was two weeks before the unfortunate incident. We met at his office and I was accompanied by an aspiring comedian. Raju bhai asked him to perform and he really loved his comedy. He gave him a monetary reward and also encouraged him to pursue the career. Raju bhai was a person who would encourage and motivate emerging talent.

I have many vivid memories of working with him. He had quite the talent for telling stories and would share the most eccentric stories in an animated way. His act as Gajodhar bhaiya (fictional character that Srivastava played on television) made him a household name. Whenever we would go for any tours, his fans and audience would fondly remember him as Gajodhar bhaiya. He had the knack of picking up situations from daily life and turn it into a funny situation which was something that everyone would relate to.

His death is a big void to the entire industry. Raju Srivastava cannot be replaced. His memories will live in our hearts forever.

(As told to Sonil Dedhia)

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