Renowned Marathi playwright Ratnakar Matkari succumbs to coronavirus at age 81

Updated: May 19, 2020, 08:27 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

He was active even in his old age, and city-based theatre personality Dolly Thakore recalled how he had asked her to direct a play he had written in 2013

Ratnakar Matkar
Ratnakar Matkar

The Coronavirus claimed a leading light in Marathi theatre last Sunday night, when noted playwright and Sahitya Akademi Award winner, Ratnakar Matkari succumbed to the disease at the age of 81. He was a prolific writer who scripted 33 plays and 18 books of short stories among other literary work. He was active even in his old age, and city-based theatre personality Dolly Thakore recalled how he had asked her to direct a play he had written in 2013.

Dolly Thakore
Dolly Thakore

"It was called 1 Safdarjung, the first English play that he had written. The plot was about the Emergency, and we had staged it at the Mumbai Press Club. The cast included Shernaz Patel, Denzel Smith, Jim Sarbh and Dilnaz Irani, among others. I was very close to the man. He was a gentle person who was also modest, unlike a lot of theatre directors who throw their weight around," remembered Thakore, while speaking with this diarist. She also spoke about how Matkari's entire family — wife Pratibha, daughter Supriya and son Ganesh — were also involved in theatre and how she and Pratibha had worked on a play together as well, apart from doing a lot of work for charity. "It is a great loss because not only was he a doer who wrote prolifically, but also a nice human being," Thakore said.

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