Exclusive: “Smile nahin, laugh-please kaho,” insisted ‘dum-a-dum-mast-‘Calendar’ Satish Kaushik; recalls Chaitanya Padukone
One of the memorable films which versatile Kaushik directed was appropriately titled ‘Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain (1999).
By Chaitanya Padukone
Yesterday was possibly one of the darkest dates on the ‘Calendar’ of the film fraternity and also of his ardent fans when it was known that multiple award-winner iconic actor-director-funster-writer-RJ-show host Satish Kaushik “was no more”. During the release of ‘Masoom’ (1983) followed by ‘Mr. India’ along with director Shekhar Kapur, I had first met him as an actor. Later on, I reconnected with him at the launch and release of his initial directorial movies ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’ and ‘Prem’. With his extrovert nature, we instantly hit it off like old buddies.
In fact, I remember that during that the bygone era when I wrote “ace funster Satish Kaushik” in a leading city tabloid (Mid-Day) in my column, he was delighted and later said to me in his bonhomie-buddy style. “Yaar, almost everyone just calls me ‘wonderful comedian’, Aapne ‘ace funster’ likhha, mujhe bahut achha lagaa”. Interestingly, Satish was also very music-savvy. Quite often he would be heard humming his favourite songs.
If you hear the melodious songs of this Salman Khan super-hit starrer movie ‘Tere Naam’ (2003) directed by Satish Kaushik you will hear Himesh Reshammiya’s music in a different pure-melodious avataar. Those days, I remember Satish specially called me up on my land-line phone to draw my attention to the peppy innovative original version of ‘Mera Tan Dole, Mera Man Dole—Dupatta Mera ’ from this musical super-hit film ‘Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai’ (2001) which he directed and the song was picturized on heroine Kareena Kapoor. The song in Kaushik’s ‘MKKH’ emerged as a mind-blowing chartbuster melody. Satish asked me for my honest feedback on a personal level, simply because ‘Man Dole Mera Tan Dole’ is an iconic evergreen song-tune from the yesteryear movie ‘Naagin’ (1954).
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Recently, on 06th Jan 2023, at the promotional event of this Rakul Preet Singh starrer ‘Chhatriwali’ (ZEE5 movie) which had a relatively bold theme (“taboo”?) of sexuality, sex-education and contraceptives, ‘actor’ Satish met me, slapped me fondly on my back. While chatting with me versatile Satish said, “In these past 40 years I have never felt complacent. Even today I consider myself an avid learner, I always keep my mental lid open to humbly absorb new things. Besides my passion-dedication for entertainment, I have realized that you need to innovate and reinvent yourself every now and then, to go with the flow and be relevant,” he shrugged.
After a couple of minutes, (it may sound quite uncanny) Kaushik said, “Yaar, Chaitanya, I guess we have never taken photos posing together, all these decades. Chalo aaj toh photo khinch hee lete hain,” he said with that jazbaati apnaapan in his voice, When the press photographer Rajes Koril said, “smile please”, Satish in his exuberant style reacted with ‘Bhai-saab, smile nahin, laugh please kaho”. So, I am sharing that same sentimental pic-image. Little did I know that this would be my last shot with Satish-paaji, whom I used to often lovingly call ‘Duma-Dum-Mast-‘Calendar’.
One of the memorable films which versatile Kaushik directed was appropriately titled ‘Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain (1999). Yes, super-talented Satish-jee you will ‘live’ in our hearts, hameshaa!
(The writer Chaitanya Padukone is an eminent award-winning senior entertainment journalist-author)