Veteran photographer Jagdish Mali passed away yesterday at 11.20 am in Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital. Mali had not been in the best of health for a while time now, and succumbed to liver and intestinal ailments. He was cremated last evening at Shivaji Park.
Soft-spoken and someone who loved to laugh, Mali would endeavour to make everyone who visited his studio, from a star to a junior reporter comfortable. Amidst endless cups of chai and plates of samosas, Mali would casually shoot the biggest of stars.
Mali started his career sometime in the ’80s and was an ace photographer with Cine Blitz. Later, he went on to be an independent photographer by setting up his own studio. He was known to be extremely close to many actors and enjoy a good reputation in the industry. His daughter Antara Mali became an actress and also directed a film Mr Ya Miss.
Close friend and fellow photographer Jayesh Sheth said, “When I started my career in the ’80s, Jagdish was already a established name. Wee have learnt so much through his pictures and his photographs with Rekha are still being talked about. He commanded great respect and lived his life with dignity.”
Sheth adds, “We became extremely close while shooting the song and I learnt that he was a disciplined man. He was never bothered by his critics and detractors and always had the dekha jayega attitude. He was a great cricket fan and used to play cricket at the MIG club. I remember stars used to wait for him to finish playing. He was one of the few photographers from the ’80s who was ready to adapt and accommodate the new technology. He also promoted a lot of new photographers and was never insecure.”
Daboo Ratnani says, “I was introduced to him by Anna Singh and Pooja Bhatt in 1995. I was a newcomer that time but I knew he was popular. I was always welcome at his parties and he was never insecure about my presence. He did very well for himself and he reached the peak, which very few do in their careers.”
Rakesh Shrestha says, “His studio was right next to mine. There was never any rivalry between us and we used to party almost every night together. I had heard that he was lonely in the last few months. It is sad and unfortunate.”