11 Aug 2023

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma: What Used To Cause Embarrassment To Popatlal Aka Shyam Pandey During College Days

'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah' is the longest running show in the Indian TV industry. Each and every character of this show is popular across the country. One of these characters is that of journalist Popatlal Pandey.

We all know about Popatlal's umbrella love, he always carries it with him. But do you know that actor Shyam Pathak, who played this character, was once a salesman in a clothes shop.

Lived with his family in a chawl in Ghatkopar

Shyam Pathak belongs to a lower middle class family. He was born in Ghatkopar, Mumbai and grew up here as well. For 25 years, Pathak lived with his family in a chawl in Ghatkopar.

Pathak first came to know about theater while studying in college. In these 5 years, Pathak had decided that he wanted to become an actor, but he did not know how it would happen.

Girls used to come at the store where he worked as a salesman 

Amidst all this, Shyam Pathak's family was struggling financially. To support his family and continue his studies, he worked as a salesman in a clothing store.

In an interview, Pathak had told, 'Many times my classmates used to come to my shop where I was working as a salesmen. Girls studying with me in my class used to come with their parents. I used to feel very embarrassed. However, I learned a lot during that period.'

Shyam said that his boss had made a rule that if any customer comes, he will attend to them first. But due to this rule he used to face embarrassment on many occasions, because college girls used to come with their mothers and see him working there in the shop.

Popatlal passed CA exam

Shyam told that his mother's dream was that the son should become a chartered accountant. So he prepared, passed the exam too, but somewhere in his mind he had a dream of becoming an actor. Shyam told he used to go to Income Tax Office for some work, then there was National Center of Performing Arts next to it, one day with great courage reached inside and took an annual subscription of 25 rupees

After this Pathak made a balance between the CA and the theater. After trying his luck at the National Center for Performing Arts (NCPA), Pathak wanted to learn acting at an institute but did not have the money.

It was during a play that he got to know Barry John and his group. Pathak had no money. He wrote a letter to Barry and Barry gave him a seat in his course for free, after which Pathak went to Delhi to attend his class.

Ek Chabi Hai Pados Mein was his first show

Pathak's struggle did not end even after coming back to Mumbai from Delhi. He performed in many plays and TV shows. His first TV show was 'Ek Chabi Hai Pados Mein'. After this he appeared in many shows including Sonpari, Jasuben Jayantilala Joshi's Joint Family.

Shyam continued to work in many TV shows without any godfather. In 2008, he was offered the role of journalist Popatlal Pandey in 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah'. After this his life changed. He got recognition from house to house. Pathak, who is still unmarried in the TMKOC, had in real life married Reshmi in 2003. The couple has three children, two boys and a girl.

The boy who once lived in a chawl and used to work as a salesman at a clothing store is now famous across the country by the name of Popatlal. If reports are to be believed, Popatlal i.e. Shyam Pathak charges Rs 60,000 as fee for an episode of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah.

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