Crediting Amitabh Bachchan for playing a key role in her father’s success, Antara, daughter of the late comedian-actor Raju Srivastava, on Tuesday expressed her gratitude to the megastar for standing by their family during these difficult times.
Srivastava, who was first noted for his resemblance to Bachchan, considered the veteran actor as his childhood hero and idol. Comedian he died last wednesday at the Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after 41 days in the hospital. He was 58.
In an Instagram post shared on Srivastava’s official page, Antara thanked Bachchan for being a source of “strength and support” to the family. “I am extremely grateful to Shri @amitabh bachchan uncle for being there for us every day during this difficult time. Your prayers have given us an abundance of strength and support that we will always remember…
“My mother Shikha, brother @aayushmaan.srivastava, my entire family and I, @antarasrivastava, are eternally grateful to you. The love and admiration he receives all over the world is only because of you,” she wrote alongside pictures of her father with the film legend.
According to Antara, Raju Srivastava saved Bachchan’s number as “Guru ji” in his contacts. “You are my father’s idol, inspiration, love and Guru.” Ever since dad saw you on the big screen for the first time, you’ve stuck with him forever. He followed you not only on screen but also off screen,” she further said.
While hospitalized, Amitabh Bachchan sent a voice message to Srivastava’s family to help them with the stand-up artist’s treatment.
“His reaction to listening to your audio clip clearly shows what you meant to him,” Antara added in the post. A day after Srivastava’s demise, Bachchan posted a tribute on his personal blog, remembering the comic for his “sense of timing and colloquial humor”.
Raju Srivastava was admitted to AIIMS on August 10 after suffering a heart attack while exercising at a hotel gym in Delhi. He was cremated last Thursday in the presence of family and close friends in Delhi.
Srivastava, whose career spanned nearly four decades in the comedy and film circuit, featured in hit Hindi films such as Maine Pyaar Kiya and Baazigar, before gaining national fame as a contestant on the comedy competition show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge in 2005.
He was also the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council.
Raju Srivastava is also survived by wife Shikha and son Aayushmaan.