Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi

Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi

Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (literal meaning: ‘This Life As It Is’) is a sitcom that was popular on Indian television; it aired for the first time in 1984. It was written by comedy writer Sharad Joshi and directed by Kundan Shah, S. S. Oberoi and Raman Kumar.

Yeh Jo Hai ZindagiIf there is a Show that has redefined Television in India, it is undoubtedly and unquestionably Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. This show can be considered a cult classic and was initially aired in the year 1984. Brilliant performances by veterans like Satish Shah, Shafi Inamdar, Swaroop Sampat and Rakesh Bedi elevated the show to unmatchable heights. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that video stores in London would await periodically for the copy of the serial’s tape. Even the box office openings in cinemas were affected due to the airing of the show.

It was one of the first sitcoms and one of the biggest hit shows on Indian television after the state-owned television, Doordarshan, started sponsoring its programs.

Watch all episode here.

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The episodes revolved around funny happenings in the lives of Ranjit Verma (played by actor Shafi Inamdar) and Renu Verma (played by actress Swaroop Sampat (Miss India 1979)), who play a married couple along with Renu’s unmarried and unemployed younger brother Raja (Rakesh Bedi). Chachi’s daughter who plays the character of Rashmi. Other characters were Ranjit’s boss (Tiku Talsania), his Bengalineighbours (actors Vijay Kashyap and Sulabha Arya), etc.

A trademark of the Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi were the characters played by Satish Shah. In each episode, Shah played a different character who played a key role in the plot. These characters would be from many professions and regions of India, with some being close family friends of the Vermas and others being total strangers. During the mid-1980s Satish was anointed as “King of Comedy” by the entertainment media as a direct consequence of the multitude of characters that he played on the show. In later episodes, Anjan Srivastav joined the show, playing different characters.

Actors of Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi

Episode Summary

Episode Title Role played by Satish Shah Description
1 The Divorce Lawyer on his first day of practice Renu wants to see if Ranjit remembers their anniversary. Ranjit overhears Renu but pretends to forget. Renu meets a lawyer to send a fake divorce notice to Ranjit. They patch up things in the evening after Ranjit brings gifts for Renu.
2 The Sofa cum Bed Bumbling furniture salesman Renu and Ranjit order a sofa; so do their neighbours. The salesman wrongly delivers their neighbours’ sofa who turn up to claim it exactly when they have a guest. They try to manage the situation and everything ends well.
3 Renu as a salesgirl Vinod – Ranjit’s colleague Renu is annoyed when Ranjit describes how he flirts with salesgirls in his office. She takes up a job as a saleswoman herself and turns up at Ranjit’s office flirting with him and his colleague, Vinod. Ranjit’s boss decides to cancel and give no further orders to salesgirls. Renu then dresses up as a salesman and takes the order for her company.
4 The South Indian Marriage (Part I) Groom’s father Ranjit and Renu’s south Indian neighbour requests them to let him invite a prospective groom and his parents to meet his daughter, Kavita, at their house since he doesn’t have proper space at his house. The groom and his parents mistake Renu as the bride. During the meeting the prospective bride and the groom slip away without seeing each other, as they are both in love with someone else.
5 The South Indian Marriage (Part II) Groom’s father The parents spend time at Ranjit’s house looking for a solution. The groom’s parents bring their second son while the bride’s parents plan to present their second daughter, Savita, as Kavita. Meanwhile it is revealed that the prospective bride and groom were in love with each other but break-up on hearing that the other person was meeting someone else for marriage. Both return to Ranjit’s house independently. Much confusion and commotion ensues, but everything is sorted out in the end.
6 Cancer Doctor Ranjit gets a routine medical check-up done, but his report is mixed up with someone else’s. The doctor breaks the bad news that he has cancer and has only five days to live. Ranjit decides not to break the news to Renu and Raja, but starts acting strange nevertheless. The doctor is even more woeful and depressed, due to which Renu thinks he is having some fatal disease himself. A nurse finally realises the mistake and brings the correct report to Ranjit’s house where everybody is mourning.
7 Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner? Renu’s boss To gain a push in the career, Ranjit and Renu challenge each other to invite their boss for dinner, so that they can please their respective bosses with a grand dinner and in return they get a promotion in the career. To make matters more complicated, Ranjit and Renu invite their respective bosses on the same day.
8 Women’s Liberation (Part I) Keshwani Sheila, Renu’s foreign-returned friend pays her a visit. She sees that Ranjit and Raja are very dependent on Renu for the daily chores, and that Renu has to do housework as well as her job. Based on Sheila’s suggestion, Renu decides that she will not slave for the men. In the evening all four go to Ranjit’s Sindhi friend Keshwani’s, house for dinner. He makes fun of Ranjit when Renu refuses to do any work asked for by Ranjit. Ranjit invites Keshwani to dinner betting that he will also show that he is in control of Renu.
9 Women’s Liberation (Part II) Keshwani Renu refuses to prepare dinner for Keshwani’s visit. In the evening the three women (Renu, Sheila and the Sindhi friend’s wife) go for an outing by themselves and leave the men worrying about their own dinner. The next morning Renu relents and agrees to prepare breakfast for Ranjit and Raja provided they also participate in housework.
10 Raja Falls in Love Prashanto Bannerjee Bhattacharya’s (Ranjit’s neighbour) sister in law comes to visit the neighbourhood from Bengal. Raja meets her and falls in love with her. He learns that she was in love with a Bengali man, Prashanto Bannerjee, but broke up when she saw him with someone else. Prashanto comes to visit them and explains to Raja that there has been a misunderstanding. Raja’s hopes are shattered when the lovers make up.
11 Thief’s Sweet Tooth (Part I) Thief A thief is on the loose in Juhu area where Ranjit’s family resides. Renu has prepared gulabjamuns (sweets) and warns everyone not to eat them. However, when she checks in the night, some gulabjamuns are missing. Ranjit and Raja also come to check out. While they are arguing over the missing sweets, the thief who was in hiding eats some more. Raja catches the thief (who wears a mask) but he escapes. The police ask Raja to announce in the newspaper that he can recognise the thief so that they can use him as a bait and trap him.
12 Thief’s Sweet Tooth (Part II) Thief A plainclothes policeman comes to Ranjit’s house to check everything is OK and to warn Raja to be careful. He also is fond of gulabjamun. Ranjit and family think he is the thief and drug him by mixing sleep-inducing medicines in the sweets. The real thief comes dressed as a policeman to teach Raja a lesson. They tell him the entire story believing he is a policeman. The thief fools them, holds them at gunpoint, and reveals his identity. Renu tricks him into eating the drugged sweets from the kitchen.
13 Blackmail Blackmailer thief Ranjit is home one day when a thief comes to his house pretending to be a salesgirl. She tries to get Ranjit in a compromising position, after which she and her accomplice try to blackmail Ranjit for money. Even after he pays up, they plan to continue the blackmail. Ranjit’s neighbour Bhattacharya has overheard the whole thing and tells Renu the truth. Ranjit gets Raja to appear as a police constable, while Renu gets Bhattacharya disguised as an inspector to nab the crooks next time they are there. Raja and Bhattacharya start a fight amongst themselves about who is the real police while the crooks slip away in the commotion.
14 Pregnancy (Part I) No appearance Renu’s neighbour Kavita is pregnant and requests Renu to knit socks and caps etc. for the ‘to be born’. Seeing some knitted socks, Ranjit thinks Renu is pregnant. The confusion continues when Ranjit talks about the expected newcomer and Renu thinks he is talking about the new puppy she is thinking of getting.
15 Pregnancy (Part II) Psychiatrist The confusion over whether Renu is pregnant continues until matters are cleared up.
16 Raja As a Salesman Department store owner Raja is feeling very low and depressed. Department store owner (Satish Shah) offers Raja the job of a salesman at his store. At first, with complete uninterest, Raja takes the job and humiliates a customer that has been visiting the store for 30 years. He explains later that flower vase that he is planning to buy is available cheaper at the footpath. However, after Raja is encouraged by Ranjit and the store owner, he decides to show his sales skills. He sells the flower pot at an exorbitant price not only to the previous customers but to Ranjit as well as to the department store owner himself.
17 Smugglers’ Den Smuggler’s Man Friday Ranjit’s briefcase containing contract papers worth Rs. 20 lakhs is exchanged with that of a smuggler’s (Moolchand played by Satish Shah) containing diamonds worth Rs.20 lakhs. Satish Kaushik is the main smuggler boss and Avatar Gill and Satish Shah are his henchmen. The whole smuggler gang reaches Ranjeet’s house to retrieve the briefcase. At the same time Raja is practising with his theatre group for some play. Raja thinks that the smugglers are the cast members he was waiting for. Further, the play has a story involving a briefcase. Confusion and comedy of errors results with a total of three briefcases.
19 The Antique Gift Retired Army Colonel Renu and Ranjit are heading to a friend’s place, a retired Army colonel, when they realize they don’t have a gift to offer him. They decide to take a brass face from Zambia, which was gifted to them by Renu’s friend. However, Mrs. Talwar demands her gift back when she realizes that the gift was actually meant for someone else. The retired colonel, a superstitious man, is reluctant to return the gift since it has brought him good luck. Renu and Ranjit use different tactics to get the gift back from the colonel, only to realize Mrs. Talwar intended to give it to him.
20 Truth or Lies? Guru Gokulji Ranjit is suddenly inspired to speak only the truth after he meets a guru Gokulji. His truths cause problems to all and sundry including marital quarrels amongst the neighbours, the Bhattacharyas. He is forced to abandon his truthful ways after the problems caused when he reveals to Gokulji’s wife that her husband dislikes her.
21 Double Trouble Anju’s Father Raja is dating two girls, Anju and Manju. Renu and Ranjit disapprove and warn the girls’ fathers. Trouble starts when both girls elope and come to Raja’s house to marry. Their fathers, too, come looking for their daughters.
22 Marital Rift Ranjit’s father Ranjit and Renu get into a fight while mediating an argument between a married couple who are their friends. Raja gets bothered and calls Ranjit’s father and Renu’s mother for an intervention. Instead, both in-laws get into an argument over their children, while Ranjit and Renu repent at their workplace for their actions. They call each other and patch things up, but Raja tells them they’ve to pretend to fight so their parents can “solve their issue.” The fake-fight flares into a real one again.
23 The Cooking Range Ranjit’s father Renu wants a cooking range to expedite her household work and to satisfy Ranjit’s and Raja’s demand for food to be prepared quickly. She orders that everyone start becoming frugal with their finances, including giving up on day-to-day comforts and start collecting their savings. Unfortunately, their bills pile up, too, till they are forced to pay them after being admonished by Ranjit’s father for being irresponsible. They lose all their savings. Ranjit’s father ultimately surprises them with a gift: a cooking range.
24 New Member Arrives Bedi Ranjit is in London. In order to pay Rs.5000 for a policy premium, Raja suggests Renu that they accommodate a paying guest named Bedi, who pays the amount as deposit. Ranjit calls shortly after and informs Renu that his aunt (Chachi) and her daughter, Rashmi are coming from Meerut to stay on account of Rashmi’s employment. Raja doesn’t get along well with Chachi, who in turn doesn’t like Bedi staying there. Chachi refuses to stay there because of Bedi and is ready to leave, when one of Renu’s friends who owes her Rs.5000 turns up and reveals she is Bedi’s older sister. The accounts are settled, Bedi leaves, and Renu convinces Chachi to stay on since Rashmi gets a job too.
25 Jhumroo Maharaj Chachi’s home-servant, Jhumroo, runs away from Meerut to stay with her since he is tired of her husband’s antics. Raja wants Jhumroo gone because he catches him wearing his clothes and breaks his guitar strings. Raja hires a Maharaj (cook) to replace him, who bullies Jhumroo a lot. Jhumroo breaks down and decides to leave, when Raja catches the Maharaj consuming the household’s grocery supplies. The Maharaj is fired and Jhumroo and Raja patch up.
26 Rashmi gets a haircut Rashmi’s boss Rashmi decides to get a haircut instead of sporting pigtails since she finds it old-fashioned and her boss makes fun of her. She is, however, scared that her mother, Chachi wouldn’t be pleased. Renu convinces her to get one and keep it a secret from Chachi. Jhumroo sees her with a new haircut and Rashmi’s boss falls for her. Rashmi wears a wig to keep her mother in the dark, but her boss and Jhumroo expose the truth in front of Chachi by pulling the wig off. Chachi is pleased with the Rashmi’s new hair-cut.
27 Chachi Gets Lost Rustomji Raja, Rashmi, and Jhumroo return home from a picnic, but leave Chachi behind in the city accidentally. Bhattacharya and his wife aid them in looking for Chachi. Meanwhile, Chachi runs into an old Parsee man, Rustomji, who is looking for his wife who got lost and goes around town with him, while her family searches for her frantically. Since Bhattacharya and his wife don’t know what Chachi looks like, they bring a random old lady home. Chachi finally finds her home and invites Rustomjee, too, where it’s revealed the old lady whom Bhattacharya and his wife brought home is his wife.
28 Unwanted Guest Mishra An annoying neighbor of Chachi from Meerut, Mishra, barges in uninvited and creates a lot of trouble for the family. He makes a mess out of the house and invites his own friends in without permission, and the family tries getting rid of him.
29 Raja Goes Detective Pandey Raja finds a part-time job in Bhattacharya’s friend, Chandola’s Sameer Khakhar detective agency. Chandola is frustrated with his existing detective, Pandey, and assigns a dangerous task of following a smuggler to Raja as a training assignment. Pandey vows to exact his revenge on Raja and Chandola and tries to sabotage Raja’s assignment but ends up helping Raja apprehend the smuggler. Pandey is then reinstated in the agency.
30 Babysitting Toy seller Jhumroo is bored at home, but neither Raja, Renu, nor Chachi agree to let him accompany them on their outing. He tries crank-calling and accidentally reaches a lady who mistakes him for a daycare center owner. She leaves her child with Jhumroo, who proves more than a handful for all.
31 Rambhai Shyambhai Rambhai/Shyambhai Raja is expecting an interview call from Rambhai Shyambhai & Co., but he gets the call from Shyambhai & Co. and Rambhai & Co., who have split up and are fierce rivals. He gets the letter from the former, whereas Chachi and Renu get the letter from the latter when Raja’s nowhere to be found. Chachi and Renu go to Rambhai & Co. to mention that Raja is sick and would be delayed for the interview, but Chachi signs up for the job and Raja gets employed by Shyambhai & Co. As a result, Raja and Chachi become fierce rivals.
32 Dieting Tiku Raja and Chachi get an offer from director Vidhu Vinod Chopra (playing himself), Ranjit’s friend, to star in his movie about slum-dwellers, which requires both to lose weight. A dieting instructor, Tiku, is sent to get the job done, but at the end of the program they end up gaining weight. However, the director comes by and reveals that a change in script now requires obese characters, and all is well.
33 Renu misses Ranjit Jaikishen Renu is uninterested in her daily life, behaves oddly around the house and loses her temper often. The rest cannot understand her behavior and try to cheer her up to no avail. When they realize the true cause for her behavior is because she misses Ranjit, Bhattacharya offers to cheer her up by asking one of his co-workers as Ranjit’s colleague and bring her gifts. However, Ranjit’s real friend Jaikishen turns up first and brings gifts for all but is mistaken for Bhattacharya’s co-worker. When Bhattacharya’s co-worker comes by, the confusion is cleared. Jaikishen then returns with a ticket for Renu to fly to London to live with Ranjit.
34 Bhattacharya Acts Playwright Bhattacharya has been doing some theater as a lead actor to surprise his wife, Mandira, and has been mumbling romantic lines in his sleep to prepare for his role. Mandira, mistakes it as him having an affair and when she complains to Chachi, she employs Raja to tail him. Raja catches Bhattacharya and the lead actress rehearsing their lines in the open and confirms an affair. Bhattacharya brings everyone to the rehearsals and clears the misconception. The script is deemed too romantic for Mandira, Chachi, Rashmi, and Raja, and Bhattacharya’s acting stint is terminated.
35 Rashmi in love Bablu’s dad Rashmi reveals to Raja that she has a shy and introverted boyfriend named Bablu, whose father is opposed to the relationship and locks him in his room. Chachi agrees to the relationship and confronts Bablu’s dad at his place, while Rashmi helps Bablu escape. Bablu’s dad heads to Rashmi’s place to bring back Bablu, where Rashmi realizes Bablu is too much of a weakling to confront his father and lets him go.
36 Jhumroo becomes smart Eccentric professor Jhumroo gets frustrated of being ordered around by Raja, Chachi, and Rashmi. A neighbor’s maid, Lakshmi suggests him ways of getting back at his family. He adds a lot of chillies in the dinner, but it backfires when Raja, Rashmi, and Chachi taste it and go outside to eat, leaving Jhumroo to eat the fiery food. Lakshmi then asks him to work for an eccentric professor, who promises him good pay and benefits for moving his precious furniture around the house. However, his new master is too weird for him and Jhumroo returns to his family.
37 Raja as a copywriter Vicky Raja shows his capability to write advertising slogans and lands up in an advertising agency, where he manages to impress a client manufacturing soaps, much to the chagrin of Vicky, the advertising agency bigwig. The client asks both Raja and Vicky to come up with a competing slogan. Raja recruits Chachi to help sell the slogan and wins the contract, but the soap company loses market due to a rival brand. The client asks a slogan for tea leaves, but before Chachi and Raja can come up with a slogan, a rival tea brand upstages the client’s tea brand.
38 Bombay to Pune Police inspector Raja, Chachi, Rashmi, and Jhumroo plan a trip from Bombay to Pune. Bhattacharya barges in and asks to join in on the fun, and offers to buy tickets. However, he mistakes it for the movie Bombay to Pune and buys tickets for the movie instead, while the others wait hopelessly at the train station. Bhattacharya ends up in jail for selling tickets illegally, whereas Raja and the rest land in jail for buying tickets illegally, where the confusion is cleared.
39 Forecast Ravi Raja, Chachi, Rashmi, Bhattacharya, and Jhumroo find their daily horoscope’s forecasts coming real, but Rashmi’s friend, Ravi, doesn’t believe it.
40 Jack and Johnny Johnny Johnny and Jack (music director, Ajit) are famous singers who sing together. They have a fallout over a song and a foreign tour is canceled. Rashmi, who works for them, tells it to Chachi and Raja who become interested. Jack overhears Chachi singing and asks her to join his team. Johnny, who is also seeking a singing partner, is duped by Jack and Chachi into recruiting Raja whom Johnny thinks is a famous singer from USA, Buddu. Raja passes the test with help from Jack and lip-synching but sides with Johnny for fame and fortune. A competition, with the prize being a foreign tour, occurs between the two duos where they try to sabotage the other by mixing a medicine that causes hiccups in their drinks. The contest results in a stalemate and Jack and Johnny patch up.
41 Raja’s Interview Raja’s boss Raja is being coerced by Chachi to find a job in Allahabad, but he wants to find a job in Mumbai. He goes to an interview for the position of an accounts officer, but his employer hires for a peon position. He, however, lies to his family about his job. Raja comes to know that his new boss is a failed actor pretending to be an officer in his friend’s office to appease his father. His boss’ father, Chachi, and Bhattacharya land in the office at the same time, forcing both to pretend to be accounts officers, but they’re caught. Raja is forced by Chachi to leave for Allahabad, but a telegram arrives indicating that position is filled.
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