Vijay Tendulkar: Khamosh...

I saw him coming out of the gate of Sahitya Sahwas, the complex for littérateurs in Bandra east where he lived. He was wearing very dark glasses and for a moment looked like one of those dark characters that he created so well.
Vijay Tendulkar would just have easily been relegated to the small world of ‘art cinema’, but going by the films he scripted, the plays he wrote, it is clear that there weren’t many like him around at the time to sustain the avante garde movement. But Tendulkar was not experimenting; he was giving it to us as real as it was, mostly a hard slap ...with the sharpness of a whip.
He was groping the underbelly of society – tribal, rural and urban.
He exposed hyprocrisy – political, social, gender. The last I am a bit iffy about. His men may have been victims but they were pretty much in charge. However, it is when he showed them as vulnerable and helpless did they become human and not the off-beat version of machismo.
I suppose of all his work I do rate Manthan the best, precisely because it was a subtler film; the intent was less oblivious…perhaps the subject lent itself to that sort of pace.
In theatre, Tendulkar will forever be known for Sakharam Binder and the pathbreaking Ghashiram Kotwal. In the latter he coalesced folk theatre, music and dance to make a hugely political point using history.
I shall always remember this play fondly because it was the main actor who enacted Nana Phadnavis, Dr. Mohan Agashe (he is a practising psychiatrist) who drove me to the hall after feeding me laddus and then went and sat at the ticket counter minutes before the powerhouse performance. This is commitment.
This is how people like Tendulkar woke us up to several realities. In some ways, even his own death...yesterday, May 19.
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A list of some of his works:

# Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe (Silence! The Court Is in Session) (1972)
# Nishant (End of Night) (1975)
# Saamna (Confrontation) (1975)
# Manthan (Churning) (1976)
# Simhasan (Throne) (1979)
# Gehrayee (The Depth) (1980)
# Aakrosh (Cry of the Wounded) (1980)
# Akriet (Unimaginable) (1981)
# Umbartha (The Threshold) (1981)
# Ardh Satya (Half Truth) (1983)
# Kamala (1984)
# Sardar (1993)


  1. was searching for vijay tendulkar on the net when i chanced upon ur blog...well it would take more 100 years to accept and understand Tendulkar....always liked his radical thoughts ...going inside human psyche...showing darker side at times...
    liked ur artworks too....infact added u on my blog without ur permission...just couldnt resist myself...

  2. Cosmic clown:

    Thanks...and you are right about Tendulkar. I see his works beyond radical thoughts, though. There was empathy with different kinds of people. In 'Kamla' he managed to really use a real-life story with sensitivity. The bought woman, the wife, the husband, and then the servant in the house...that was quite a brilliant extrapolation.

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