His early days might have been spent at a textile mill but his evenings were reserved for Prithvi Theatre, learning acting and making acquaintance with some of the most powerful performers of the coming generation, including Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri.
A mere four years after his arrival in the city, an almost unrecognisable Kaushik starred as Ashok in the cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983). His humorous repartee with Shah in a memorable telephone scene established him as an actor with deft comic timing
His role as the amiable buffoon, Calendar in Mr. India, became one of his most enduring characters, even as it wedged him more firmly into the mould of a comedy actor. By 1990, he had won his first (of the two) Filmfare Best Comedian Awards for his performance in Ram Lakhan (1989).
A decade since his first appearance on-screen, Kaushik made his directorial debut with Roop Ki Rani Choro Ka Raja (1993), starring the hit pair of Anil Kapoor and Sridevi. The film, written by Javed Akhtar, was the most expensive Hindi film made at the time.
His short role as the foul-mouthed, opportunistic Manu Mundra in Scam 1992 set him apart even amidst some of the cast’s career-best performances.