Indravadan Sarabhai, Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai (played by Satish Shah)
Tell you what, we have wished forever to have a father like Indravadan Sarabhai. With brilliant ease, Indravadan manages to navigate a rollercoaster spectrum of other characters like Maya, his sophisticated wife, his Mama’s Boy son Rosesh, his simple-minded daughter-in-law Monisha, and a barrage of exasperating people, which ends up in either him losing his sanity completely, or coming out on top as the voice of reason. Either way, the process is always funny.
Anand Mathur, Hum Paanch (played by Ashok Saraf)
Although the character arcs of both Mathur and Indu Sarabhai is pretty much the same (a sane family man surrounded by a sea of crazy people), we have placed Indu before Anand, as Anand is the kind of family man who enters his family room with no hope. In that respect, indu at least tries to have a mature conversation with his family members. Although the tv serial Hum Paanch was known prominently for the interaction between the 5 sisters, the father-daughters & wives dynamic was one that was immortalized by Saraf.
Pandeyji, Office Office, (played by Hemant Pandey)
We know what you’re thinking…Office Office characters, and Pankaj Kapur is not the first? Well, we love Pankaj kapoor, no doubt about it, but we love the charades of Pandeyji even more. His long expression, his nasal voice, his childlike impatience make this character funny and cruel and childlike, all at once.
He reminds us of that annoying Indian uncle who is always up for giving unsolicited advice to others on the assumption that all other people don’t know any better.
Mussadi Lal, Office Office (played by Pankaj Kapoor):
Yes, we are including multiple characters from Office Office. And I think you know why….this series was a whole buffet of great characters. Pankaj Kapoor always stands out, and did so here too- the helpless wallet amongst a sea of corrupt, inefficient officials. Kapoor is able to easily pull off the delicate balance between exasperation, hopelessness, anger with brownnosing behavior and hopefulness with expertise.
Keshav Kulkarnik.a. Keshu,Pappu or Keku, Shrimaan Shrimati, (played by Jatin Kanakia)
Every 20+ Indian has seen him, but can’t really place him- a main character who doesn’t really get that much credit. So it is time that we honor this great character that was ever thought of on TV. Keshav Kulkarni a.k.a. Keshu is an impatient, irritated, straightforward man who flirts with his neighbor and Bollywood actress Prema Shalini and other beautiful smart women remorselessly, despite having a wife of his own. Typical middle-aged North Indian man, Keshu has a voice that would suit All India Radio, and looks like a Byomkesh Bakshi who has given up on his detective profession. He is frustrated from his daily life with wife and idiotic kid, and finds escape in his sophisticated actress neighbor; the irritating but sensible man who you forgive for being occasionally rude.
Rosesh Sarabhai, Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai, (played by Rajesh Kumar)
A typical Momma’s boy, Rosesh is the one who reminds us that it is ok to be the butt of a joke. He is the lovable, goofy man-child who is always at odds with his father who pokes fun at him. His childlike accent is a bit exaggerated to indicate a Mama’s boy quality, but we love it anyway. His love for the theatre and poetry, even if he is so bad at it, just reinforces our love for his innocence and sense of the wonderment, even if we have to tear off our ears.
Shukla, Office Office (played by Sanjai Mishra)
Played by the master actor Sanjai Mishra, Shukla is the irritating but beloved character who you always see with a paan in his mouth. He has a quality of provoking Musaddi Lal, and then immediately getting defensive. He has no civic ense, spits his paan everywhere, sometimes evn at the feet of people and reminds us of the neighbourhood chachcha who comes in the category of people who are known for ‘aag me ghee dalna’.