Man who gave Mumbai its huge Ganesh idols passes away a month before Ganpati
Vijay Khatu made idols for Mumbai’s Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal (Ganesh Galli), Chinchpoklicha Chintamani, Chandanwadi, Tulsiwadi and Khetwadi mandalsmumbai Updated: Jul 27, 2017 14:38 IST
Vijay Khatu, 63, the man who made the huge Ganesh idols for Mumbai’s Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal (Ganesh Galli), Chinchpoklicha Chintamani, Chandanwadi, Tulsiwadi and Khetwadi mandals, died of heart attack on Wednesday, a month before Ganesh Chaturthi (August 25).
Making idols from the age of 12 with his father, well-known idol-maker Ramkrishna, Khatu did a course in sculpting from Sir JJ School of Arts.
He soon joined Master Dinanath Velling, the pioneer in making huge idols, on the insistence of his father.
Khatu made his first huge 16-ft idol for a mandal in Chinchpokli at the age of 17, under Welling’s guidance.
According to experts, Khatu’s speciality was the innocence he brought to Bappa’s eyes.
Impressed by his skills, Welling apparently gave all his moulds to Khatu, so he could keep his legacy alive.
Relatives and admirers of his work paid last respects to him in his workshop, where he worked for almost 50 years, amid more than 200 idols.
Khatu was cremated at Dadar on Wednesday evening. He is survived by his wife, Vinaya, son Rohit and daughter Reshma.