Remember the retired schoolteacher who brought a bank manager to his knees in Rajkumar Hirani’s 2006 film Lage Raho Munna Bhai? Veteran film and theatre actor Hemu Adhikari, who played the schoolteacher, died at his residence in Dadar in Mumbai on May 22. Adhikari had been battling a lung infection for a year. He was 81 years old. The actor is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
Adhikari’s screen credits include Sai Paranjpye’s Hindi film Katha (1983) and Paresh Mokashi’s Marathi film Harishchandrachi Factory (2009). Perhaps his best-known role is his five-minute appearance in Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Adhikari’s character turns out to be one of the many beneficiaries of the Gandhian advice dished out on the radio show hosted by Munna (Sanjay Dutt).
Adhikari is shown to be a retired schoolteacher who asks for Munna’s advice to help him obtain his long-due pension from a corrupt bank manager. Munna advises the schoolteacher to shame the bank manager. He proceeds to take off his spectacles, his hearing aid, his watch, his belt, his shirt, his innerwear and trousers one by one, and put them in front of the bank manager. The bank manager, mortified, pleads the schoolteacher to stop and goes on to clear his pension files immediately. The observers applaud.