Birthplace of the 'Tiger'
The nondescript Datar wada situated at 326 Sadashiv Peth housed 'Khade hospital', which was a tiny clinic some 90 years ago. Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray began his humble beginnings at this tiny clinic and spent the first two years of his life in a traditional Marathi household opposite.
Today, there is no sign of this historical location as the Datar wada was demolished and a four-storeyed apartment came up around 10 years ago. The Khade hospital was shifted to the adjacent Laxmi road around this time.
Vasantrao Datar (86), whose family once owned the wada where the Thackeray family resided between 1926 and 1928, shared fond memories of the old days. Coincidently, Datar shares the same birth year — 1926 — as Thackeray, but is three months younger.
“The Thackeray family shifted to Mumbai after staying in the wada for just two years. But from what my father told me, Balashaheb’s father Keshav had a small press in our wada,” Datar said.
Padmakar Karkare (62) feels fortunate to be one of the many to have lived in Datar wada for 50 years, and more so because he and his family were tenants in the very same quarters that Thackeray lived in for two years.
“Yes, it is a typical Maharashtrian wada having a large drawing room, kitchen and two rooms in the basement. We are really proud to have lived in a home where the Thackeray family once lived,” Karkare said.