The Marathi bard

Updated: Dec 29, 2016, 09:48 IST | Suprita Mitter |

On the eve of his first death anniversary, poet Mangesh Keshav Padgaonkar will be remembered through his verses and songs


Mangesh Keshav Padgaonkar. Pic courtesy/Shubhankar Karande 

Last €ˆYear fans of Marathi literature mourned the passing away of poet Mangesh Keshav Padgaonkar. Having set on a poetic journey at the age of 14, Padgaonkar went on to bring out 40-odd publications; of mainly romantic verse, but also other themes like children's poetry and poems on the corrupt societal power structure. On his first death anniversary, a thematic presentation will showcase the gems of Padgaonkar's poetry set to music by stalwarts like Sudhir Phadke, Shriniwas Khale, Yashwant Deo and Hridaynath Mangeshkar, and immortalised by some of the celebrated vocalists of our times like Lata Mangeshkar, Sudhir Phadke, Arun Date, Asha Bhosle and Suresh Wadkar.


Lata Mangeshkar And Asha Bhosle

"My favourite among my father's works are his romantic poems. He experimented with various styles and developed his own. He loved to write about nature too," says Dr Ajit Padgaonkar, who is organising the event. "I published a book of his poems called Paus Gane, which featured poems about rains that he had penned from the beginning of his career till the very end. I wanted to hold a publication ceremony for this, but then decided to celebrate all his works instead. I contacted event manager Atul Date, son of renowned singer Arun Date, who has sung many of my father's works," he adds.


Suresh Wadkar

The large body of Padgaonkar's work also includes children's books and translations of Shakespeare, The New Testament of the Bible and Mirabai into Marathi. With his contemporaries, Vasant Bapat and Vinda Karandikar, Padgaonkar formed a formidable trio that shaped Marathi poetry in the 20th century. He also penned lyrics for many Marathi films. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 for his collection of poems Salam. "My father made his first public performance at a sahitya sammelan in 1949. The late singer Vithal Rao Ghate who was present there, heard his poems and said, 'Here is the poet of tomorrow.'

My father never looked back," shares Padgaonkar, 65, his voice filled with nostalgia.

The evening will feature 18 songs performed by musicians Mandar Apte, Dhananjay Mhaskar, Madhuri Karmarkar and Archana Gore. "It's not just an evening of light music. We have tried to bring out the various creative aspects of my father's life. Chintamani Soni and Ashok Padke composed the music for his music for some of hisnewer poems that haven't been heard," Padgaonkar sums up.

ON: December 30, 6.30 pm 
AT: Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
CALL: 66223737 
Cost: Rs 300 onwards

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