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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

A tribute to Jaspal Bhatti: Undisputed king of satire and wit

IANS  Chandigarh, October 25, 2012
First Published: 11:22 IST(25/10/2012) | Last Updated: 17:05 IST(26/10/2012)

We all remember Jaspal Bhatti's Flop Show and Ulta Pulta - both satirised society in a subtle yet uproariously funny vein with relatable jokes for the common man. As the famous satirist breathed his last this morning, here's a look at the man who made India laugh.

Fact File:
Born on: 3 March 1955
City: Amritsar, Punjab
Spouse: Savita Bhatti
Children: Son - Jasraj Bhatti, Daughter - Raabiya Bhatti

The genial sardar who not just brought on a smile but also provoked introspection with his biting wit and humour is no more. Jaspal Bhatti, who passed away after a road accident in the early hours of Thursday, was the original king of satire and spoof. He was 57.

His simple smile and disarming warmth struck an instant chord, spreading good cheer. On Thursday, as his body lay covered with a sheet in a Jalandhar hospital, there was gloom all around.

This was the day he was to end his over 40-day promotional tour of his latest film Power Cut in Punjab's cultural capital Jalandhar. The film, which sees the launch of his son Jasraj, is to be released Friday.



The quintessential entertainer till the very end, Bhatti, who was born on March 3, 1955 in Amritsar, was killed near Punjab's Nakodar town.

An electrical engineer by profession, Bhatti, perhaps the most famous Sikh comedian, had humour and satire in his blood.

It was during his days at Chandigarh's prestigious Punjab Engineering College (PEC), also the alma mater of astronaut Kalpana Chawla, that he launched his Nonsense Club in the early 1980s to poke fun at social evils and issues. There was no stopping Jaspal Bhatti from then on.

PICS: Jaspal Bhatt's swan song - Power Cut

Though he joined the Punjab government as an engineer, Bhatti's heart and soul lay in comedy and satire. Starting as a cartoonist with English daily The Tribune in the late 1980s, Bhatti later came up with the popular Ulta-Pulta on national channel Doordarshan.

Within no time, Bhatti's satire on social issues became a national hit. He followed it up with another hit TV show, Flop Show.



Bhatti was the most visible and popular Sikh of his times, a well loved figure not just in Punjab but in other parts of the country as well. Though he was Chandigarh based, he was a frequent traveller to Mumbai and Delhi for films, TV appearances and shows.

He produced and directed the popular Punjabi film Mahaul Theek Hai, a satire on the Punjab police, administration and society, in 1999.

He acted in several Bollywood films. His role as Jolly Good Singh in the Aamir Khan-Kajol starrer Fanaa was a particular favourite. He participated in TV shows as a celebrity contestant and a judge.

Married to Savita Bhatti, who acted with him in TV shows and Punjabi films, Bhatti had set up his MAD Arts and film school at Mohali, near Chandigarh, three years ago. His son Jasraj was also involved with him in the venture and film production.

It was at his film school that Bhatti set up a 'factory of foundation stones' in November last year, given the number of foundation stones that were being laid by politicians in the run-up to Punjab's assembly elections held January this year.



The seriousness of his comedy could be gauged from the fact that the Election Commission of India last year engaged him as their brand ambassador for their awareness campaign.

"I pick up things from simple things in life of everyone. The spoofs on social and corruption issues are liked by people a lot since they can relate to these," Bhatti told IANS earlier this year.

Be it getting on horse-back in a three-piece suit and with a briefcase to protest against the fuel price hike, selling Diwali gifts for politicians and bureaucrats, wearing garlands of pricey vegetables, carrying the idol of 'corruption devta (god)' to anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare or playing cricket with his Nonsense Club members on the dry bed of Chandigarh's famous Sukhna Lake - Bhatti did what he liked best and kept people entertained.

"He used to instantly think of ideas and would put up a satire show at a public place within hours. People liked the way he highlighted the issues. We are all shocked and stunned that he is no more," Vinod Sharma, Bhatti's close associate for over 25 years and theatre actor, told IANS.

His spoofs, satire and comedy kept us entertained for years. Jaspal Bhatti, you will be missed.



BOLLYWOOD PAYS A TRIBUTE...

Dia Mirza @deespeak
So true..."@V1SH4L: Goodbye, Jaspal Bhatti. So few can be satirical, topical, intelligent and yet roaringly popular. RIP."

Manoj Bajpayee @BajpayeeManoj
My deepest condolences to late jaspal bhatti's family!may god give them strength to bear this sudden loss !may bhatti saab rest in peace!

Madhur Bhandarkar @mbhandarkar268
To make people laugh is an art & Jaspal Bhatti mastered it. RIP Bhatti ji, may god give strength to your family.

Riteish Deshmukh @Riteishd
RIP Jaspal Bhatti- Super Hit man from d FLOP SHOW- worked with him in my debut film Tujhe Meri Kasam-humble kind, happy, funny and helpful.
RIP JASPAL BHATTI- one of the first ppl to entertain audience with his political satires. Condolences to the family- a big n untimely loss.

Jaspal Bhatti's TV shows Ulta-Pulta and Flop Show had entertained TV audiences in late 1980s and 1990s. HT/Gaurav Bajaj

Shreya Ghoshal @shreyaghoshal
R.I.P. Jaspal Bhatti. :(:(

Ayushmann Khurrana @ayushmannk
#RIP Jaspal Bhatti uncle. My dad's closest pal. May God give strength to Jasraj and Rabia and Savita aunty.

Siddharth @Actor_Siddharth
Jaspal Bhatti is no more… just like his ‘flop show’ partner Vivek Shauq, Bhatti Saab had left us too soon…we’ll miss you sir…RIP

Paresh Rawal @iPareshRawal
80s & 90s born kids UR childhood was awsm as U grown up with the classical satire & acts of Jaspal Bhatti G. DD1 also lost its biggest star.

Ranvir Shorey @RanvirShorey
Life is a sad, pointless affair. Until somebody cracks a good joke... RIP Jaspal Bhatti. #respect

Suresh Menon @sureshnmenon
Romance passed away earlier this week now laughter dies too ......surely the world is coming to an end. RIP jaspal Bhatti

Jaaved Jaaferi @jaavedjaaferi
RIP Jaspal Bhatti..The poker faced humour..the Satire..you will definitely be missed Jaspalji?

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