Alka Kubal reveals she performed veteran actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar's last rites

Updated: 24 September, 2020 08:41 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Veteran actress Alka Kubal talks about her friendship with late actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar and performing her last rites in Satara.

Alka Kubal (Picture/Kubal's Instagram account); late Ashalata Wabgaonkar
Alka Kubal (Picture/Kubal's Instagram account); late Ashalata Wabgaonkar

Veteran actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar, who was shooting for her Marathi TV show Aai Mazi Kalubai, passed away aged 79 on September 22 after having contracted COVID-19. She had tested COVID-positive along with 20-plus members of the show, and died after a 4-day battle with her illness at a private hospital in Satara.

Now, as per a report published in Mumbai Mirror, Wabgaonkar's co-star on the show and her close friend, veteran actress Alka Kubal has shared that it was she and her husband who performed the actress's last rites in Satara. She told the publication, "We had known each other for over 35 years and did several projects together as mother and daughter, including Maherchi Sadi (1991), which was a milestone in both our careers. That bond extended beyond the screen to the extent that she would call my husband her son-in-law."

Kubal added, "She joined us in Satara for the shoot of my Marathi serial, Aai Mazi Kalubai, a month ago. Since she was a senior citizen, as per government requirement, she had given us in writing that she was shooting by choice." When 22 members of the show tested COVID-positive, they all recovered within five days, but were still home quarantined. In Ashalata Wabgaonkar's case, however, Kubal says, age was the deterrant.

"My husband and I were with her in the hospital for the last four days," said Kubal. While the veteran actress seemed to be recovering, even asking for her favourite dishes, she asked Kubal not to intimate her family about her condition and if required, to perform her last rites.

Kubal said, "She was put on a ventilator on Monday night after her oxygen levels fell drastically and passed away early on Tuesday at around 4.45 am. Her family couldn't come due to the ongoing pandemic and told us to cremate her in Satara and not bring her body down to Mumbai. I'm honoured I could fulfil her last wish given that she was like a mother to me."

Ashalata Wabgaonkar worked in over 100 Hindi and Marathi films. Her notable Hindi films include Apne Paraye, Ankush, Woh 7 Din, Ahista Ahista, Shaukeen, and Namak Halal. Her Marathi films include Umbartha, Sutradhar, and Vahinichi Maya. Ashalata had acted in theatre too, notably, the Marathi plays Chinna, Gunata Hridhya He, and Varyavarchi Varaat. She also authored a book, Gard Sabhowati.

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First Published: 24 September, 2020 08:30 IST

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