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Thackeray's 'Phatkare' selling like hotcakes

‘Phatkare’, a book compilation of caricatures drawn by late Balasaheb Thackeray is fast disappearing from stands at the city’s books stalls. In the days leading up to the demise of the Shiv Sena chief on Saturday, book retailers have seen an overwhelming demand not only for the book, which was recently launched during the party’s annual Dussehra rally in Mumbai on October 24, but also a DVD on Thackeray’s thoughts about ‘cartoon as an art’ is being lapped up by individuals in recent days.

Bal Thackeray
Going fast: Bal Thackeray’s compilation of cartoons selling fast in the city. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

The book depicting over 200 political cartoons and caricatures of well-known political figures from the past six decades includes sketches of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Jagjivan Ram, Morarji Desai, Chandrashekhar, America’s former president Richard Nixon and former England prime minister Winston Churchill.

In the preface of the book, Thackeray has reviewed his career as a cartoonist and has thanked many artists like R K Narayan, noted veteran Marathi film maker Baburao Painter, Shankar, editor of Shankar’s weekly and Navshakti editor Shrikant Palekar. “It is sad that I could not be able to see any remarkable talents in the scenario of political cartoons in our country,” concludes the preface.

Ramesh Rathivdekar, director at Akshardhara book exhibition, Bajirao Road, said, “Balasaheb’s Phatkare is one of the most popular books at my book fair. Over 250 copies of the books have been sold in the past five days. I have placed a fresh order and I expect to sell more than 600 copies in the coming days. I receive maximum enquiries for the above said book daily.”

Sudhakar Joshi, owner of Utkarsha book service, Deccan Gymkhana, also claimed that 50 copies of the book have been sold. “I expect a further 200 copies to sell in the next two days,” said Joshi. Meanwhile, with the DVD now sold out, the publisher is planning a second edition. The DVD titled ‘Marmik Resha’ is produced by Kailas Bhingare and is the first and only DVD on Balasaheb Thackeray’s sketches, with commentary by the creator himself.

“The first edition of 1,000 DVDs is a sell out and a fresh edition is in the pipeline, which would be introduced soon by incorporating 50 new sketches created by Balasaheb, after consultation with Uddhav Thackeray,” said Bhingare.

Movie on Thackeray
Meghraj Raje Bhosale, Marathi film producer and member of Maharashtra government Marathi film grant Committee, said, “I am ready to produce the film based on Balasaheb Thackeray. If Ram Gopal Verma can make a good commercial film like ‘Sarkar’ then why not we in Marathi? I have already started scouting the actor, director and a good writer for a script on the legend.” 

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