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Iconic Marathi poet Mangesh Padgaonkar, whose poem Salaam became the post-Emergency voice of dissent for Marathi writers and poets and also won him the Sahitya Akademi, passed away at his residence in Sion in Central Mumbai on Wednesday morning after a brief illness. He was 86.
Soon after his death, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the Padma Bhushan receipient would be accorded a state funeral. He was given a gun salute at his funeral held at a crematorium in Sion this evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his demise. “Mangesh Padgaonkar was a doyen of Marathi literature. His poetry & writing influenced many. Saddened by his demise,” he tweeted. “G8est (sic) literary giant, Mangesh Padgaonkar, wrote such poetry, regaled Marathi mind, penning immortal classics, no more, We mourn. RIP,” tweeted Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Largely confined to his home due to old age, he continued to write poetry in his last days.
“His last collection of poems was titled Akherchi Wahi (The Last Notebook). Even after this, he wrote about 22 poems in the last six to nine months. He had also written down a note that if these poems are published, they should be titled Punarjanma (Rebirth),” his son Ajit Padgaonkar told reporters at the funeral.
Playback singer Arun Date, who formed a formidable combination with music director Yashwant Dev, and Padgaonkar in popularising the bhaav geet, a form of non-film music compositions, visited Padgaonkar’s residence to pay his last tributes. His son, Atul Date, said, “My father narrated this anecdote to me about the popular Ya Janmava, Ya Jagnyavar. One night nearly 40 years ago, an excited Padgaonkar telephoned my father and told him that he had just written a song, and Yashwant Dev had composed a tune. He also told him that they would like him to lend his voice. He then went on to recite the song on the phone. After listening to the composition and the words, my father felt that if he indeed gets to sing the song, his fortunes would change. And, that’s exactly what happened.”
From: The Hindu