Born in 1928, Tendulkar wrote his first story when he was six years old. He also directed and acted in his first play when he was eleven. He has had a long and chequered career - in a printing press, in journalism and as a public relation officer in a company. This prolific writer has to his credit thirty full-length plays and twenty-three one-act plays, besides seventeen film scripts and a novel in a career spanning more than five decades.
His famous plays include Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe (1967), Sakharam Binder (1972) and Ghashiram Kotwal (1972), which is one of the longest-running plays in the world, with over six thousand performances in India and abroad, in the original and in translation.
He has been celebrated as the 'Playwriter of the Millennium'. His plays which have been perceived by critics as being ahead of their times, are also timeless, because of his accurate and sensitive portrayal of the social issues of the time.
In 1977, Tendulkar won the National Film Award for his screenplay of Shyam Benegal's movie Manthan. He also wrote the screenplays for other critically acclaimed films like Nishant, Akrosh and Ardh Satya. Tendulkar has been felicitated with many awards and honours including the Maharashtra State government award (1956, 1969 and 1972), Sangeet Natak academy award (1971), the Filmfare Award (1980 and 1983), Padma Bhushan (1984), Saraswati Samman (1993) and the Kalidas Samman (1999).
Tendulkar died on May 19, 2008 in Pune battling the effects of myasthenia gravis. The Mumbai-based author, also father of the late actress Priya Tendulkar, is survived by two daughters - Sushma and Tanjua.
- With inputs from News Tomorrow