Early Life of Jaspal Bhatti
Jaspal Bhatti was born on 3 March 1955 at Amritsar in a Rajput family. He completed his graduation from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh in Punjab, as an electrical engineer. Street plays earned him his much deserved fame like his Nonsense Club during his college days. Most of these plays were spoofs ridiculing corruption in society. Before venturing into television, he was a cartoonist for The Tribune newspaper in Chandigarh.
Career of Jaspal Bhatti
Jaspal Bhatti initiated his spell with the Tribune newspaper in 1982 as a cartoonist with a column 'Oddly Speaking' on social malaise. Satire was his weapon by which he laid bare the idiosyncrasies of the social nexus. Jaspal Bhatti remained with the paper for five-six years before specializing in television stand-up, one of India's foremost in this meadow. Equally in the same line of approach was his delectable 'Flop Show' that metamorphosed TV's TRP game in the 90s; each occurrence starting with a protracted skit and wrapping up with a parody. The credits being a spectacle before the Indian audience were never seen or never experienced before. Jaspal Bhatti poked fun at the globe, the human race in general, but first, he parodied himself with an aperture credit that said 'Misdirected by Jaspal Bhatti', 'Underground Singers', 'Camera Jerks' and 'Jarring Music' and 'Over Actors'.
The actors - Jaspal Bhatti himself, wife Savita and Vivek Shauq - became household names for their poker face acts. He went on to write and direct two more shows - 'Full Tension' and 'Thank You Jija Ji'. His 'Nonsense Club' was India's first humour club. The street plays enacted through this club would draw attention to social evils.
His foray into cinema started in 1996 with his Punjabi feature film 'Mahaul Theek Hai' in Chandigarh that parodied the police. Since then he has acted in several films, including Mausam (2011), Fanaa (2006), Kuch Naa Kaho (2003), Tujhe Meri Kasam (2003), Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe (2002), Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai (2000), Kartoos (1999), Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999) and Jaanam Samjha Karo (1999).
He was promoting his film 'Power Cut' - a Punjabi comedy which will be released on October 26 when he met with the fatal accident. Power Cut is produced by P&R Films in association with Mad Arts, Jaspal Bhatti Film School.
Contribution of Jaspal Bhatti
Jaspal Bhatti was an institution, one of the smartest and yet the greatest artist of small screen. His works were not for fame and money, but for common man, and social causes. There are actors and there are artists, actors do what they are told to do by director and script, but artists create their own script and bring about a change, and Jaspal Bhatti was a pioneer in doing so He is well acknowledged and ceremoniously celebrated for his contribution to television series: Flop Show and mini capsules Ulta Pulta which ran on Doordarshan, India's national television network, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The Reader's Digest had once portrayed Jaspal Bhatti 'as one of India's most trusted people'. Well, he was. But the title was hardly attributed to him rather he earned it for himself by his panache and poise over his created nexus of majestic diplomacy. He had the unenviable chore of assignment of custodian of an eagle eye on the nation's political affairs amidst the socio economic pillars, divulging the chinks through sharp commentary and introspection; intriguing the sting out of his satire with his brilliant wit.
Assisted by his wife Savita who also acted in his serials, Jaspal Bhatti fought many constraints - low budget, poor production quality and access to quality actors who would work for a pittance. His humour was spotless, modest and regally venerable - fitting neatly into a 2-3 minute capsule on DD News. It was a two minute stand up section with a 20 second skit on the same subject. The capsule, 'Ulta Pulta', was the Hindi version of his topsy-turvy grasp of rampant sleaze and didactic corruption and the humour in everyday life.
Misdirection had been the case for Flop show this occasion not for Jaspal Bhatti, but for destiny as the man who called it a wrap on every episode of his hugely popular comedy was killed in a car crash near Jalandhar while on a promotional tour of his latest film 'Power Cut'.