Follow Us:
Thursday, May 26, 2022

Taarak Mehta even provoked those around him to find their funny bone

Taarak Mehta's four page column 'Duniya Ne Undha Chashma' in Chitralekha became very popular among readers.

Written by Leena Misra | Ahmedabad |
Updated: June 18, 2020 2:53:51 pm
taarak mehta, tarak mehta, taarak mehta dies, tarak mehta dies, taarak mehta death, taarak mehta ka ooltah chashma, taarak mehta news Taarak Mehta (Express archive photo)

As fans of ‘Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashma’ who had missed last evening’s episode were catching up on their favourite television show at noon Wednesday – it was the replay of the 500th – Taarak Mehta appeared on the screen to thank viewers and hoped the show would go on till a 1000 episodes. It has run almost a decade. By then, in the real world Taarak Mehta had breathed his last. Age had caught up with his body but not his spirit. When speech failed him, he used to speak with his bright eyes or a wave of the hand, say people who knew him closely.

Apart from his other humour scripts, this particular televised serial inspired by his column in Chitralekha magazine since 1971, said to be India’s longest comedy serial, had made him hugely popular, creating fans of protagonists Jethalal and Dayabhabhi among viewers across neighbourhoods including the Indian community abroad. Born in Ahmedabad in Khadia, a neighbourhood known to have inspired revolutionaries, Mehta moved to Mumbai in the late 1950s. Apart from being editor of a Gujarati daily, he worked for 26 years in the Films Division working his way up from a script writer to a gazetted officer. He returned to Ahmedabad in the late 90s to live outside the Walled city, in Ambawadi area.

“Having grown up in pols, and having seen the chawls of Mumbai, he set his characters in these neighbourhoods,” says Mahesh Shah of Chitralekha.

His four page column ‘Duniya Ne Undha Chashma’ in Chitralekha became very popular among readers. But the television serial took Mehta’s writings out of this elite niche to the wide world. Dealing with everyday social issues, weaving in messages of communal harmony, public hygiene in a simple satirical narrative stopping short of the slap stick…Ooltah Chashma quickly caught on even with young children taking the place of cartoons like Doraemon, Chhota Bheem in most homes. Mehta’s humour was a class apart from his Gujarati humourist peers. Those who knew him say he was inspired by Jyotindra Dave.

Best of Express Premium
What makes KuCoin P2P Trading Platform a Good Choice To Buy Crypto?Premium
Airtel Demonstrates Immersive Video Entertainment On 5G; Recreates Kapi...Premium
Is It A Good Idea To Keep One Account For All Your Financial Transactions?Premium
Touching The Sky : SIMS, Pune Alumni On A Path To Make A DifferencePremium

The character of Tapudo, in the Ooltah Chashma – the teenager who reflects on societal issues, was an instant hit. It is said that the ‘Tappu Sena’ that Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel briefly launched, of young Patidar children, was inspired by this character.

“Tapudo, in the Chitralekha column however, has not grown up, even over two generations of readership, and while the one in the magazine is a naughty boy, the one in the TV serial is comparatively calmer,” says Shah.

Mehta did not let the humour leave his daily life as well. At one of the Gujarat Literature Festivals in Ahmedabad, a couple of years ago, another humourist Vinod Bhatt and Mehta were spotted having a funny exchange, with Bhatt on the stage, and Mehta sitting in the front row on a wheel chair in the audience. Someone handed Mehta a bottle of water and Bhatt remarked from the stage, “it is only water, please have it”, as everyone burst into laughter. Mehta had always been candid about his drinking habit. He provoked those around him to find their funny bone and keep it.

Latest Comment
View All Comments
Post Comment
Read Comments

For all the latest Opinion News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard

Featured Stories

Shah Rukh Khan reveals wife Gauri Khan's rules inside their home Mannat: ...
For Faisal Malik, Panchayat’s Prahlad, life changed thanks to Anurag Kash...
Shah Rukh Khan says he has TVs worth Rs 30-40 lakh in Mannat, fan reacts,...
Dilip Joshi on playing Jethalal for 14 years in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Ch...
Two Cannes red carpet looks, one gorgeous Deepika Padukone. No surprise t...
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
X