Meet the man behind the popular ad line “Taste the thunder” and the voice of King Louie in in the movie Jungle Book. He is adman and actor ‘Bugs’ Bhargava. ‘Bugs’ Bhargava Krishna moved from Bangalore to Mumbai in the early ’80s. He was 19. He packed his bags and boarded a train, with Rs 500 in his pocket, all for a shaky job offer from an ad agency. His story features sleeping on pavements and pretending to be a cook in his cousin’s PG accommodation.
“My cousin was sharing a room with two other boys. The landlord had told him no one else was allowed. So, every time the landlord would visit, I would rush into the kitchen and pretend to be the cook.” When this could no longer go on, he resorted to briefly sleeping outside an eatery in Juhu, and then finding a room at the YMCA. “The rent per person was Rs 350. But I was paying double because they didn’t have a person I could share the room with,” recalled Bhargava.
According to Hindustan Times, at 55, Bhargava has come a long way. In the last 35 years, he’s done theatre with Alyque Padamsee (his mentor, in many ways), Pearl Padamsee and Rahul DaCunha’s theatre group, Rage. He’s acted in films (Delhi Belly, Taare Zameen Par, among others). His famous line for a cola drink “Taste the thunder” took the country by storm.
Bhargava says he’s always been a man without a grand plan. He still doesn’t think of the long-term. He hopes to be able to write and direct movies, but doesn’t care much for acting parts. It was one of his friends that led Bhargava to Disney’s big Broadway-style show last year, Beauty and the Beast. “Vikranth [Pawar, director] asked to meet at Starbucks and told me he was doing Beauty and the Beast. Then, he asked me to play the Clock [Cogsworth, the prince’s butler who is turned into a clock],” said Bhargava.
With a sold-out first run, and a second season now coming up, Bhargava calls it “the most professional theatre experience of my life”. Yet, it wasn’t without its madness. There were still the mics to fix, the wheels that jammed, and the general madness of cues and costumes, but it all came together efficiently, he says. “The speed at which it all happens is like that of a Formula One team working on a car in pit stop,” Bhargava said. According to DNA, the voice cast of the Hindi-dubbed version of the film Jungle Book has Bhargava as King Louie.