Noted Marathi poet Manik Sitaram Godghate, who wrote under the pen name ‘Grace’, died of prolonged illness on Monday morning. Godghate was suffering from throat cancer for the past two-and-a-half years and passed away at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune. He was 75.
The surrealist poet was known for his use of unfathomable and mysterious words, symbols and imagery in his poems. His journey as a poet began from his school days in Nagpur. His first collection of poems, Sandhyakalchya Kavita (Poems of the evening), was published in 1967. A professor of Marathi literature, Godghate worked for almost three and a half decades at the Morris College [now Vasantrao Naik Institute of Social Science] at Nagpur. Over 50 years, in addition to poems, he also wrote several essays including Mitva and Churchbell. Grace became a household name after his poem Tee Geli Tevha, Rimzim Paus Ninadat Hota was composed as a song by Hridaynath Mangeshkar for the film Nivdunga.
Last year, when the Sahitya Akademi announced an award for his collection of essays Varyanay Halte Raan (The forest sways with the wind) that was published 45 years ago, Grace wasn’t too pleased. "[The award] does not matter to me; I never wrote for awards or others, only for myself," he said. Godghate is survived by two daughters and a son. The last rites will be performed in Nagpur on Tuesday.