Crediting Amitabh Bachchan for playing an instrumental role in her father’s success, Antara, daughter of late comedian-actor Raju Srivastava, on Tuesday expressed her gratitude towards the megastar for standing by their family in these tough times.
Srivastava, who was first noticed for his resemblance to Bachchan, regarded the veteran actor as his childhood hero and idol. The comedian died last Wednesday at the Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after 41 days in the hospital. He was 58.
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In an Instagram post shared on Srivastava’s official page, Antara thanked Bachchan for being a source of “strength and support” to the family. “Extremely grateful to Shri @amitabh bachchan uncle for being there for us every single day during this tough time. Your prayers gave us an abundance of strength and support, which we will remember forever…
“My mother Shikha, brother @aayushmaan.srivastava, my entire family and I, @antarasrivastava, are eternally thankful to you. The love and admiration he receives globally is all because of you,” she wrote alongside the pictures of her father with the screen legend.
According to Antara, Raju Srivastava had saved Bachchan’s number as ‘Guru ji’ in his contacts. “You are my father’s idol, inspiration, love and Guru. Since the first time dad saw you on the big screen, you have stayed within him forever. He not just followed you on-screen but off it also,” she further said.
During his hospitalisation, Amitabh Bachchan had sent a voice note to Srivastava’s family to help them with the stand-up artiste’s treatment.
“Him reacting on listening to your audio clip clearly shows what you meant to him,” added Antara in the post. A day after Srivastava’s demise, Bachchan had posted a tribute on his personal blog and remembered the comic for his “sense of timing and the colloquial humour”.
Raju Srivastava was admitted to AIIMS on August 10 following a heart attack while working out at a Delhi hotel gym. He was cremated in the presence of family and close friends in Delhi last Thursday.
Srivastava, whose career spanned almost four decades in the comedy and film circuit, featured in hit Hindi movies such as Maine Pyaar Kiya and Baazigar before gaining nationwide fame as a participant in the 2005 comedy competition show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.
He was also the chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council.
Raju Srivastava is also survived by wife Shikha and son Aayushmaan.