Ask the BA generation about Jaspal Bhatti, and it is likely that his response will be a question mark. Prior to Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mr. Bhatti was the ubiquitous turbator-in-chief who revolutionized comedy on Indian television. However, unlike his severely Gabbar successor, he was not a ‘laughing chieftain’. Dough and dry, he had a serious lien. Seldom did he smile, except for all the chuckles where it mattered the most – the audience. During the 1980s to the 1990s, when the state was an all Indian couch potato in the name of satellite TV entertainment, Doordarshan ruled the tube and one man ruled supreme when it came into laughter.
Jaspal Bhatti’s flop show (1989) was not for any other sitcom. With its Akbaric writings and ridiculous yet believable situations, it was a caustic satire that exposed all the flaws, deceptions, and eccentricities that provoked the North Indian middle-class. The show recently made a comeback to DD National allowing Kovid to lighten the mood of a populace coming to the end of its tedders months after the lockdown. Some urbanites are now tuning into Doordarshan, but Kapil Sharma, AIB Comedy Roast, Netflix original and current stand-up and open mix trend, also sees Mordant satire of the flop show as Sui Janis. In later episodes of the episode, it reminds us of what good humor was all about and how it can be achieved with a touch of gauntlet, a sneak peek of the jab and the sharpest of the stings.
From the tongue-in-cheek disclaimer at the beginning (‘this episode is dedicated to influential people whose trivialities lead to another big meeting’), the orchestra-style opening and bizarre finale often lead to a dogrel, flop Happens with. Campaigned tirelessly against what was wrong with the system. For example, the rip-tickle episode ‘meeting.’ It lampshades the governmental practice of addressing a ‘meeting’ which provides a new opportunity for the committee to call for another meeting, thus never resolving the issues for which the first meeting was held in the first place Was called at True to form, Jaspal Bhatti plays the role of a character named Jaspal Bhatti, an officer of a government firm notorious for its frustrating slow culture. Productivity is zilch here, even if “the whole country is in one sitting.” The cast is watched by a familiar ensemble who caricatures some real-life ideals in each episode that you may have seen elsewhere. Among these, the prominent comedian was Vivek Shook, who often appeared as Bhatti’s friend or superior and the linchpin’s wife and co-conspirator Savita Bhatti. If you’ve never seen an episode of a flop show (there are only ten), ‘Meeting’ should be a good place to start. This is a madhouse. Savita is a suspicious housewife who is fed up with her maid. sounds familiar? Her job is fine but she is lazy in breaking the gossip of the neighborhood, complains the mistress. Vivek Hobby appears desperate to clean up his file as a pipe-smoking manager. Caught between a hectoring wife and a demanding boss, a very brilliant office rodent couple who spend their nights sleeping Mr. Bhatti!
Most episodes are, roughly, on the same lines. And as cheerful. In particular, sleepy babus, servants’ secretaries, public administration, corrupt builders, medical mismanagement and middle-class methods are the butt of mockery. Bhatti spends his time as a husband, who is struggling with crises, whether he is searching for a precious watch (his father-in-law’s gift) or his wife’s missing pet. One episode ends with a parody of the Bollywood qawwali between contractors and engineers. Another property is a send-up on encroachment. One of the funniest moments comes in the first episode itself. Bhatti plays the role of an “experienced chief guest”, who begins his speech by saying, “Sorry to be late for only one hour today.” Usually, at any function, I arrive at least an hour and a half late. “In Bhatti-verse, even a new telephone line (a legitimate reason for celebration for families in the 90s) was enough to generate LOL at some point. Sample this comic gold: man: ‘No. Toh bohat is Badaiah. ‘ Bhatti: ‘Why? Isn’t there a bill on the number?’ Is a spoof on a famous patriotic song, ‘Ghoom boss ki biwi ke karan, khaadi baki staff katran / Yehan sow babu in sloth, kare gum koh woh chusti . Savita Bhatti, a former teacher, gets her best line when she bribes her honest husband to accept a suitcase full of cash while taking a bribe: “Lol you don’t get to the office of the okat, be able to work So see you today. ”Impressed by the Air Force background, Savita was no actress, but when Bhatti Ringmaster turned on the camera, she went along for the ride. Under the misdirection of her husband, the flop show caught the Punjabi lyricist of the 90s, who today looks back on what seems like a simpler time. And simple times were characters of simple humor. The contents of Jaspal Bhatti were neither obscene nor shocking. For that Baawdi style, you have streaming sites: Sacha Baron Cohen’s no-filter mockumentaries or AIB’s Toilet Humor, to pick up.
Satire can be a difficult business. How to make a joke without a message or a sermon? A harmless comedy that can be turned into a meaningful reflection of the world around us, which RK Laxman successfully introduced in his syringe cartoons, and a film like Jaane Bhi Do Yarrow, his in-depth observations of a corrupt society Done through, where there were only good people left in hellhole. Two bumbling photographers (Naseeruddin Shah and the late Ravi Baswani), found good for nothing but eventually good for some.
If Jaspal Bhatti’s humor sometimes resembled that of a cartoonist, it is because he was one. His move combined middle-class aspiration and pretense, with an extraordinary gift to reach for this so-called Gentile Struts underbelly. His comedy originated from everyday situation. This has probably happened to us, with a kick in a dusty government office with a bureaucrat or a neighbor’s tip, but when we laughed and moved on, the furnace was the one who noted it, then exaggerated and Deformed him. And Voila, it is fit for TV. He never ran out of sarcastic steam because his primary subject – the great Indian middle class – never stopped him from supplying fresh fodder. At a time when DD had unique comedy brands like Pankaj Kapoor, Satish Shah, Deven Bhojani, Bhavna Balsavar, Shafi Inamdar, Swaroop Sampat, Rakesh Bedi, Ratna Pathak Shah, Supriya Pathak et al, Jaspal Bhatti. He must have continued his creative run had not struck the tragedy. In 2012, the comedian lost his life in a car accident, surprising friends and fans alike. If alive today, you can bet that Mr. Bhatti would have interpreted the current news cycle through his own loop lens. Epidemics, social media, economy decline, Modi government, cow cabinet, Trumpism, fake news, Bollywood nepotism and more. They would have had such a field day.
The flop show was a certified hit and Bhatti followed his success with Full Tension and Mahaul Theke Hai, building on the same middle-class motifs that made him popular. Around the same time, he also starred in Rishi Kapoor’s Aa Ab Laut Chalen, starring an Indian sober companion to the Pakistani cabbie, essayed by veteran Kader Khan. He went, as they say, with his shoes. It was also a Punjabi film, starring his wife Savita and son Jasraj Bhatti, while promoting the power cut, and he met with a fatal accident. Even in a short career, Bhatti made an impact on the new generation of comedians like Sunil Grover and Bhagwant Mann. Rejecting the comic appeal of his mentor, Mann attributed his popularity to the way he connected with the general public and his own in-depth knowledge of the issues that the common man faced day by day. It used to happen every day. “His satire went beyond comedy. It was always a statement. A powerful voice against a system surrounded by corruption, inequality and social evils, ”Mann wrote in The Quint.
Wife Savita Bhatti, who never missed an opportunity to spoil the satirist’s legacy, was once referred to as the ‘Sardar-e-Azam’ of Indian comedy. You can imagine a chieftain praising himself, rather than making fun of himself. Anyone remember the sketch of the flop show, where a character forbids him to invest in a tragedy rather than a comedy? Defining him, the funny man finally undertakes out-of-the-box comedy to take a pot on himself. A family watching the flop show deeply regrets this prime time experience, which breaks their color TV set. In reality, however, it was the opposite.
The flop show is on the YouTube channel of Doordarshan National.