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Veteran Marathi playwright Ratnakar Matkari passed away at the age of 81 because of Coronavirus on May 17. Matkari, who was recognised as a pioneer of children’s drama movement in Marathi, had been undergoing treatment at Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai for COVID-19 after he tested positive for Coronavirus last week. Matkari’s last rites were performed on May 18 at Bhoiwada crematorium in the presence of his family members.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray mourned the loss of the noted playwright as he wrote on Twitter, “Ratnakar Matkari, in his literature plays, gave joy to both children and adults. He enriched the world with the values of children of our generation with his plays, short stories and novels. His demise has been a shock to me. I pay a heartfelt tribute to him.”
CM Thackeray further wrote, “He was an invaluable literary ‘gem’ in the literary world of Maharashtra. The news of his passing away is very painful.”
रत्नाकर मतकरी यांनी त्यांच्या साहित्यातून, नाटकांमधून लहान मुलांना, मोठ्यांना निखळ आनंद दिला. आमच्या पिढीतल्या लहानांचे भाव विश्व साकारले, महाराष्ट्राचे साहित्य- नाट्य क्षेत्र समृद्ध केले. त्यांचे निधन निश्चितपणे धक्का देणारे आहे. त्यांना भावपूर्ण श्रद्धांजली!— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) May 18, 2020
Matkari’s works include 33 plays, 8 collections of his one-act plays, 18 books of his short stories, 3 novels, a book of poems for children, and 14 plays and three collections of plays for children.
Several of his novels have been adapted for stage drama such as Sate Lote, Jawai Majha Bhala, Brahmahatya, Ashwamedh, etc. He also directed a Marathi film ‘Investment’ in 2013, which featured Tushar Dalvi, Supriya Vinod, Sulbha Deshpande, Sanjay Mone, Sandeep Pathak, Bhagyashri Pane, Praharsh Naik, Soham Kolvankar and Milind Pathak as leading roles.