29 October, 2020

'It's Good That No One Gives Me A Gun'

'If I had a gun, I would still put it to Modi's head. He's a butcher. But everyone has conveniently forgotten that ... Same goes for Thackeray.'

Abhijit Bhatlekar
'It's Good That No One Gives Me A Gun'

It's rare in these days of publicity-driven marketing for a celebrated playwright and author to discourage the idea of a retrospective in his honour, and decline to attend it when it happens. But that's Vijay Tendulkar. "I don't want to revisit the past," he says. The acclaimed week-long retrospective at Pune earlier this month was a benchmark of what Tendulkar means to Marathi theatre and literature, if one was necessary. And the forthcoming Prithvi theatre festival has dedicated an entire day to him. Tendulkar's snow-white beard and hair and gentle demeanour mask the tumult and anguish inside him. Words are his outlet, trenchant and razor-sharp.

At 77, with over 30 plays—half a dozen of them forming the core of contemporary Marathi theatre—dozens of short stories, two novels, translations including of A Streetcar Named Desire, several Marathi screenplays, literary and political essays, and innumerable awards, Tendulkar continues to alternately charm and shake up his readers. His world of words is not a happy one; it nurtures anti-heroes, speaking a language of...



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