Rachana Dubey (BOMBAY TIMES; July 10, 2018)

The week began on a note of mourning for the team of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. Actor Kavi Kumar Azad, who played Dr Hansraj Hathi in the show, passed away on Monday after suffering a massive heart attack.

Confirming the news, Asit Kumarr Modi, the producer of the show, said, “He was a positive guy and suffered health issues due to his weight. He was on medication almost all the time. He told us that he was feeling weak, but we never expected to hear such tragic news about him.” The show’s shoot was immediately called off.

At the time of going to press, the cast and crew was planning to head to Kavi’s house to pay their last respects. “Kavi had been working with us for 10 years. He was like a family member and we couldn’t even think of shooting today. Everyone is saddened by his demise. His absence will be hugely felt when we resume work, whenever we do,” the producer said.

Kavi became a household name as character Dr Hathi, which is considered to be one of the most iconic characters on television. He had replaced actor Nirmal Soni for the part in 2009.