Veteran lyricist and poet Jagdish Khebudkar, popularly known as Nana, passed away in Kolhapur following a kidney ailment. He was 79.
In his five decade long career Khebudkar wrote more than 2,500 songs for over 300 films. Known for versatility, he wrote all forms of songs – folk music like lavani, powade, religious and romantic songs.
“He carried the legacy of Ga Di Madgulkar capably,” Shridhar Phadke, composer and singer said. “His ability to write different kinds of songs was incredible. He wrote romantic songs, religious songs and different types of lavanis.”
After writing his first poem after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in 1948, it is from 1960 that he consistently wrote all kinds of songs for films. He also wrote stories and plays. His songs for films such as Pinjara, Sadhi Mansa, Chandra Hota Sakshila still remain popular. Recently, he wrote lavanis for an under-production film.
Though he never went for lavani performance, some of his lavanis are most popular in Marathi cinema. Kiran Shantaram, reminisced about the times when Pinjara was made. “Nana was a fantastic writer. All nine songs in Pinjara were super duper hits. He wrote several versions of songs like “Tumhawar keli me marji bahal,” and “Disala ga bai disala.”
Khebudkar was known for swift and spontaneous writing and understanding of the situation of the song. Jabbar Patel, filmmaker, said, “He was a gifted poet and was very good in content, rhythm and meter.”
Winner of several state awards, Khebudkar worked with some of the best music composers during 1960s and 1970s including Ram Kadam and Vasant Pawar.
Ravindra Sathe, a veteran singer narrated a recent experience. “Two months ago, I was singing at a programme in Nashik. Asha Bhosale asked me if I could sing “Dehachi Tijori” (a spiritual song written by Khebudkar). The moment I announced that song, the audience applauded the most.”
Phadke spoke of times Khebudkar spent with his father Sudhir Phadke and said: “Despite his tremendous work, he was not one bit arrogant.” He is survived by four children.