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Food beyond frolic

I love Mughlai and basic Punjabi fare and at times try Chinese and Mexican for a change. At home I stick to simple dal, sabzi and chawal.



Satish Shah enjoying a meal at Ruby Tuesday in Noida's Centrestage Mall.

DROLL SATISH Shah has the skill to fill your belly without a morsel but for the sake of his pronounced tummy, he settles for a meal at Ruby Tuesday at Noida's Centrestage Mall. "It has swelled only in the last few years. Now I am doing workouts and it has come down considerably but I don't want to reduce my intake," declares Satish preparing for the course with chicken wings and spinach dip. "During my days at Film and Television Institute, Pune, I used to play cricket and go for swimming and jogging and eat as much as I could. I am surprised at today's parents who instead of asking their kids to spend some time in the field, force them to diet. Particularly, in Metros fun has gone out of lives. In our times life was quite laidback, a mix of awaaragardi and work. These days children live under constant fear to perform," the comedian touches the serious chord with cottage cheese skewer.

Time to turn to main course with Ruby chicken curry and curry paneer and Satish lists his preferences. "I love Mughlai and basic Punjabi fare and at times try Chinese and Mexican for a change. At home I stick to simple dal, sabzi and chawal. Keeping age in mind, these days I have switched to olive oil."

Satish loves Delhi for its good food. "To me it is much better than Mumbai. Whenever I visit, I try to find time for Punjabi food. Karim's, Chor Bizzare and Maurya are my favourites."

Satish, who bubbled the comedy soaps on television with "Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi" on Doordarshan in the early 1980s and started a new genre of comedy with Philips Top, which was interspersed with music when satellite television appeared on Indian screens, is no more interested in the small medium. "Yes, I was among the pioneers with people like Rakesh Bedi and Tiku Talsania. People try comedy after turning ripe; I started my career with comedy but I am no more getting challenging offers on TV. I don't want to do these never ending sagas of saas and bahu and don't find myself fit doing interactive comedy like Shekhar Suman. I am happy doing my six films a year routine."

But considering the slapstick comedy that has become the order of the day, does the man, who immortalised the dead man's character in "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron" find creative satisfaction?


Relishing chicken breast with hot pepper sauce, Satish counters, "It depends on how you do slapstick. Charlie Chaplin also did this form with success. I improvise a lot. I may not be able to write a script but I can doctor it according to the demands of the scene. My character of a drag queen, Flower in `Out of Control' was a real character. You will find a number of such people in the U.S., in search of their queer desires. Then I am doing roles where just the situations are comical. In 2002, I did `Saathiya' and last year I did `Kal Ho Naa Ho'."

"We have got people like Neeraj Vohra, who can write hilarious situational comedy. We should make use of their talent," adds Satish waiting for desserts to make an appearance.

Tasting vanilla ice cream and chocolate cake Satish has some advice for those who want to rush to the tinsel town. "Come well prepared. Get some theatre experience. Because people remember the success stories of a Shah Rukh Khan or a Dilip Kumar but forget that 99.9 per cent of those who come to Mumbai end up as failures. And unless you have a film background you won't get a second chance."

However, one does desire a second chance for the hilarious filling.

ANUJ KUMAR

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