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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Raghubir Yadav recalls his appendix operation gone wrong on Lagaan set: ‘The film is imprinted on my stomach’

Actor Raghubir Yadav, who played Bhura in Aamir Khan-Ashutosh Gowariker film Lagaan, recalls his appendix operation and how he shot some match portions while still recovering from the surgery.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi |
June 15, 2021 8:45:38 am
lagaan raghubir yadav aamir khan bhura bhuvanRaghubir Yadav had worked with Aamir Khan in 1947: Earth (1998) before Lagaan. (Photo: Screenshot/Aamir Khan Productions)

The cast and crew of Lagaan might have happy stories to tell from the sets of the Ashutosh Gowariker directorial, but Raghubir Yadav has a painful one. The actor, who played the character of Bhura, underwent a surgery during the shoot of the film.

Ahead of Lagaan completing 20 years on June 15, Yadav sat down for an exclusive chat with, and revealed the story. “I had stomach ache which was most probably due to food poisoning because of extreme summer heat in Bhuj. There was a Dr Rao on standby for our unit. He had bought his new instrument for laparoscopy, and I think he wanted to inaugurate it on some patient. He said I have an appendix problem and assured that it’ll just take him 15 minutes to operate me and resolve the issue,” Yadav shared.

He added that the doctor was so excited to perform the procedure that he took the actor to the operation theatre much before the scheduled time. “He even put up a monitor for the Lagaan team to watch the procedure, sitting outside the operation theatre. He basically wanted to flaunt his new instrument and his medical knowledge. As I was unconscious, he made three holes in my stomach and kept explaining on monitor how he was doing it. But he couldn’t take out the appendix, and after 15 minutes, he said either I should be taken to Mumbai or he’ll have to make another cut in my abdomen,” Yadav shared.

The high point of Raghubir Yadav’s operation story came when he revealed that in the middle of the process, he regained consciousness and literally watched the surgery. Yadav said, “Aamir told him to just finish the surgery. He made five cuts on my belly. In the meantime I woke up and they refused to give me a second dose of anaesthesia. They managed with some pain killers and I was wide awake watching them perform the procedure. They managed to remove my appendix. I was admitted for 4-5 days.”

Yadav revealed that he was missing from the song “Radha Kaise Na Jale” because he was in the hospital at that time. In fact, he even shot some match portions in that condition. “I kept lying down on the set and whenever my shot of taking a catch or something came, I slowly stood up, gave the shot and went back to my cot. I shot a major portion of the match this way.”

lagaan stills cast raghubir yadav Raghubir Yadav played a poltry farmer named Bhura in Lagaan. (Photo: Screenshot/Aamir Khan Productions)

Raghubir Yadav lived with the pain for a year and only later, got things fixed. “Now that I’ve recovered, I look back at this as an experience and laugh holding my belly! I can never forget Lagaan because that’s imprinted on my stomach!”

Yadav played the character of Bhura, a poultry farmer who was a good fielder and stood in the slip position.

Lagaan was shot for six months in Bhuj, the longest schedule in Bollywood till date. It also marked lead actor Aamir Khan’s debut as a producer.

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