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Lunch with Mangesh Padgaonkar : Delicious moments of my life

2
With Mangesh Padgaonkar and Ravi Paranjape

 

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.

Previous article in this series-

My moments with Mangesh Padgaonkar- part1

My moments with Mangesh Padgaonkar-part 2

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Mangesh Padgaonkar

My moments with Mangesh Padgaonkar 2

As I have written earlier, I had got an opportunity to spend one night and one complete day with one of the greatest poets, Mangesh Padgaonkar. His stay was arranged in our college guest house and it was decided that I will spend one night along with this jewel of the literature world.

Mangesh Padgaonkar arrived in evening at 6 o clock. He is 83 years old. He can barely listen to what person in front of him says. He would not be able to see and recognize a person standing a foot away if his spects are removed. But still, he is lively. Mangesh Padgaonkar even in this old age is much more alive and vital than all of us.

Generally we get troubled if we come across such a person who can barely listen and we have to shout in his ears. Surprisingly, none of us was irritated by this lovely old man. We had arranged a dinner for him in the guest house itself. He ate it with great pleasure and was also insisting all of us to accompany him.

In the night, before going to sleep, he called me to sit besides him. He was just speaking very honestly- “I used to read poems for 2 rs a performance”. In that very month he was announced an award of 2 Lac. Very touchingly he said- “At that time I did not have money.  Today, money comes and there is no way to enjoy it, such an old person I am.”

Though he said this, there was no regret or sadness in what he said. He was just pointing out some of the facts of his life. He in flow inquired if he can get some juice to drink before he sleeps. A boy ran out to get juice. He was talking about his sons, his college life and many more topics. Then , out of nowhere he remembered that the boy went to get juice had not returned. He inquired about it. I told Mangesh Padgaonkar that he might be caught up in the traffic. He really felt sorry. “I troubled you a lot by demanding juice” he said as innocently as a baby”

Mangesh Padgaonkar drank his juice. Suddenly he said,”Now i need nothing. I will sleep. Look after me well.” The spects were removed, hearing aid was removed. In bed, was sleeping Mangesh Padgaonkar, unable to listen to and watch anything. Silence and darkness should be his companions in night but he stands beyond them, happy and joyous.

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Mangesh Padgaonkar poems

My moments with Mangesh Padgaonkar 1

Some people are very special. We have great ideas about them in our mind. For us, to meet them is just a dream. We just carry some ideas about them which define them according to our information and image built up in our minds. And then, some day, suddenly you come to know that you are going to meet such a person. Then you very closely observe him, get absorbed in him. And then, you find how lame all your imaginations were, how poor all your conceptions were.

Mangesh Padgaonkar is one of the most legendary poets we ever had. I have loved his poems and his words very specially. Those words of Mangesh Padgaonkar created many minute impressions unknowingly on my psyche and have removed chips of my psyche to give me glimpse of my being. suddenly, god (In form of my friend Akshay) created an opportunity for me and I was in a position to spend one entire night and one complete day with this one of the most adorable persons.

Mandar Karanjkar with Mangesh Padgaonkar

The impressions of his presence are still tangible. I know, this is time to sip the aura of Mangesh Padgaonkar rather than writing a post about it. I know, right now I cannot write anything about these intimate moments. So, I am just starting it. I will be sharing all my close observations, many arising feelings in upcoming posts.