Almost all of us believe that spices and cook come together to make your food delicious. Mangesh Padgaonkar made me think over this. Now I say, spices, cook and sprouting discussions make your food delicious. As always, I was once again fortunate enough to have lunch with two great personalities, Mangesh Padgaonkar, one of the greatest poets Marathi language ever produced and Ravi Paranjape, a great painter of today’s time. I was working with a student group in our college and under the same entity, we had organized a poem reading reading session by Mangesh Padgaonkar. Ravi Paranjape was the guest of honour.
As expected, the programme was really hit and the entire audience was mesmerised. I was attending such a session for first time in my life. I was completely satisfied with the session but god put something more in my plate. After the session, we took both of our guests out for lunch. As I had already spent some time with Mangesh Padgaonkar on the day before, I was very much keen to listen to his first hand comments on life. I had heard an old record where he delivered a talk about Osho. Other speakers who spoke in the series were Prof. Shivajirao Bhosale and Va. Pu. Kale, both of them very successful writers. Listening to these lectures was my first interaction with all three of these personalities. Shivajirao Bhosale and Va. Pu. Kale spoke irrelevant. Thoughts of Mangesh Padgaonkar were authentic and penetrating. This had doubled the respect for him.
The lunch was full of discussions. Mangesh Padgaonkar and Ravi Paranjape are old friends and hence, started with their familiar topics. The topics shifted from poetry to Old Monk to the life of poets and hardships faced by them in old days. He was telling us about the great poets of their time- the tremendous passion and the burning desire which these people had in their hearts. Whatever he was speaking, was touching my heart. The reason was simple; he was talking from the bottom of his heart. His views were his own views and not the borrowed ones. His experiences and memories were still fragrant.
In course of discussion, he told me,
“When I was young, I used to read out poems for few rupees. I wanted to see the world and roam around, but had no money. Right now, I have lacs of rupees with me, but its all useless. I cant use it anywhere…..”
I could understand the feelings by observing his 84 years old utterly expressive eyes. I was touched by the authenticity and simplicity of his shaky voice. I gave him a typical smile- which we use as a shield to escape such moments. While I was dragged into a whirl of thoughts, Mangesh Padgaonkar was back to his piece of fish, enjoying it to the fullest.
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