Weeks after the death of actor Kavi Kumar Azad, it has been confirmed that Taarak mehta Ka ooltah Chashmah will get its new Dr Haathi in Nirmal Soni. Azad’s death had left the Taarak Mehta team and his fans shocked, the actor passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest on July 9. He had played the role for almost eight years. The showrunners of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah were not able to find the right actor to play the role. Reportedly, the makers couldn’t finalise an actor because there was no one who could generate spontaneous humour like Kavi Kumar Azad. This resulted in the buzz that the original Dr Haathi, Nirmal Soni will reprise the role. However, at that time, the actor had spoken to Spotboye and said he was yet to be approached for the role. The situation is clearer now and the website has confirmed that not only will Nirmal reprise his role but the character will reportedly be introduced on September 13.
The report in Spotboye states that Nirmal Soni recorded his first comeback episode on Sunday at Filmcity. It is also speculated that Nirmal will be re-introduced on the show with a lot of fanfare. The plot of the episode to be aired according to the report is “This Ganesh Chaturthi Gokuldham is waiting for Dr Hathi (beginning from 7th September) Gokuldham Society is very active in the mornings. Jethalal is performing his morning rituals while the Gokuldham ladies are returning from a morning jog. Komal returns home after a long time. She informs everybody that Dr. Haathi is busy helping flood-affected people and has opened a medical camp over there and will be back during Ganpati festival. Tapu Sena along with entire Gokuldham Mites get busy in preparations for the Ganpati festival. All are confused as to who will do the first aarti. Later it is mutually decided that Hathi’s family will do the first aarti.”
Speaking about the difficulty of casting someone for the role, a source was quoted as saying, “Kavi was extremely funny. You saw him and you started laughing– not because of his weight but because of his facial expressions. He was all the time so good at his job, the character had almost got into him even in his daily life. We definitely want someone as Dr Haathi in the episodes ahead but we surely could not cast anybody for just the heck of it. Kavi raised the standards so high that the next Dr Haathi has to be at least extraordinary if not as good as him. Nirmal is the best bet for now.”