The world ended yesterday, today is action replay.
These are the words that are inscribed at the entrance of Taarak Mehta’s house, says Bharat Ghelani, Editor, Chitralekha Gujarati.
A popular Gujarati columnist, humorist and playwright, Mehta passed away at 87 on Wednesday, owing to a prolonged illness. The playwright was best known for his column, Duniya Ne Undha Chashma (The World’s Inverted Glasses) in Chitralekha, a weekly Gujarati news magazine where he first wrote his column in 1971. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2015 for his literary contribution.
Mehta, who has been a resident of Ahmedabad for the last 16 years, used to write for Gujarati dailies like Divya Bhaskar, and other publications like Chitralekha. Born in 1929, he has written over 80 books and six popular Gujarati plays.
“He was a father figure to us. He served the publication for 44 long years so we were all very junior to him. Despite him gaining such clout and stature, he did not have an iota of ego,” Ghelani said, adding, “Though Chitralekha was popular before Mehta sir’s time, our circulation multiplied because of his columns.He got the publication its status and same goes for us.”
Ghelani also added that he did not only produce humour but also wrote some serious plays. “It is a huge loss for he Gujarati literary world. His volume of work is too big and the vacuum created would be difficult to fill in,” he added.
Mehta’s work was also adapted to the small screen as ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’. Kewal Parpani, a fan of Mehta and a regular viewer of the show, said, “I have never seen him but I am feeling so low after I came across the news. His remarks and comments embedded in humour were spot on.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sadness at Mehta’s death. Reminiscing his meeting with Mehta, Modi tweeted, “I have had the privilege of meeting Mehta several times. I also got a chance to meet him when he was honoured with the Padma Shri. His work reflects unity in diversity in India.