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Tribute: Misdirector of Flop Show Jaspal Bhatti, a Serious Man

What was Jaspal Bhatti like off the screen?

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On the credit roll of his immensely popular satire, he always called himself the ‘Misdirector’ of Flop Show – that was Jaspal Bhatti, who made you laugh, and was always ready to laugh at himself. Today (25 October) is his death anniversary. Whether it was onion prices, malfunctioning government hospitals or red tape messing up the life of an aam aadmi, Jaspal Bhatti’s spoofs always had us in splits. They were simply produced, but the quality of the humor was always top notch. He and his tiny ensemble of actors put out Oolta Pulta, the Flop Show on Doordarshan for years over almost 3 decades.

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In 2013, Bhatti was honoured with the Padma Bhushan. Few would know that he actually studied to be an electrical engineer. Luckily he found his true calling in writing and performing satire. As he became an institution in Chandigarh, Jaspal Bhatti set up an actors’ training school and production studio in Chandigarh called Joke Factory.

During elections Jaspal Bhatti was always expected to take to the streets with his satire. Over the years he floated ‘parties’ like Hawala Party, Suitcase Party, Recession Party and just like his satire the symbols were related to opium, drugs and alcohol of which he claimed‘there will be no shortage’ if his ‘party’ is voted to power.

What was Jaspal Bhatti like off the screen?
Jaspal Bhatti.
(Photo courtesy: Twitter)

His wife and co-star Savita Bhatti, says that in his personal life he was a quiet man. His comedy came from his observations of life and people around him.

(This story was first published on 3 March 2015 and has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark Jaspal Bhatti’s birth anniversary.)

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