EXCLUSIVE! Johnny Lever mourns the demise of his close friend Raju Srivastav says, “He was like family to me”

Fondly known as the Comedy King, Raju Srivastava passed away at the age of 58, after battling for one and half month in the hospital. Raju was admitted to AIIMS Delhi after complaining of chest pain and collapsing in the gym. ETimes TV exclusively got in touch with Johnny Lever, who has been Raju’s friend and family from the beginning of his career. Talking about Raju’s death, Johny Lever said:

“Everyday I was praying for his health, I used to check up on his wife to know about his recovery, she used to even keep the phone close to Raju to make us talk to him. I had even visited Raju at AIIMS and visited his place. He had been fighting for a month and half now. At 8:30 am he had bleeding and within few hours around 10:30/11am we got the news that he is no more. I am extremely sad after receiving this news.” said Johnny

Raju and Johnny have been together since the beginning of the latter’s career in the industry, Johnny shared, “We have done many shows together. I started my Johny Lever Nights since then he was with me and he was new and had come to Mumbai from Kanpur. Then he started his own shows as well. I had asked him to start his own show. And he worked in TV and films. We couldnt work together in films. He did a lot of stage shows. We would eat food together and he got married in front of us only. He was like family to me. He would call me, he was a good friend of my brother too.”

“We were neighbours in Antop Hill, years back we stayed in rented apartments, he used to live in Sector 7 and Sector 5. Raju used to always be there in every meeting for our Mimicri association. He has even done shows with my brother, there was a lot of love and bonding between us. Even if he would have survived, life would have been extremely painful as his brain reports weren’t in favour of his health.” He added

When asked about whether Raju got his due as an actor in Film Industry, Johnny quipped, “He didn’t get his due as an actor as such but he recieved a lot of fame on the stage. He couldn’t do much work in the films, one has to also remove time for films to get prominent roles. Though, he did few films with me. Instead, he flourished in Television and gained massive popularity.”

On sharing about Raju’s political Career, he said, “He didn’t tell me about his political shift, he slowly entered the field. It is tedious task to be a politician, you have to be calm and also patient with others. As an artist, we learn to be more patient with everyone.”

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