Daji Bhatawadekar, the ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi’ winner in the year of 1965, was born on the 15th of September 1921, in the city of Mumbai in Maharashtra, at his ancestral home, The Bhatawadekar Wadi, being located at Chaarni Road, Mumbai. He completed his schooling from Arya Education Society in Mumbai. After obtaining a degree from the Wilson College, Mumbai he joined Mumbai University to do Post Graduation in Sanskrit.
Daji Bhatawadekar, who is known to have given life to the Sanskrit as well as Marathi dramatics, started his career at an office. Subsequently, his passion towards theaters made him a part of a literary organization based in Mumbai, the ‘Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh.’ From there he started scaling heights and finally ended up receiving one of the most prestigious Awards given by the Indian Govt, the ‘Padma Shri’ title, in the year 1967, for his numerous contributions to our society.
Mr. Bhatawadekar has played roles in various Hindi, English, Sanskrit as well as Marathi plays along with actors like
Durga Khote, who was supposed to be one of the leading actresses of that time. Daji has also worked with great directors like Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, the Marathi writer/humorist, and Herbert Marshal, also a well-known English stage actor. He has also acted for the Brahman Sabha of Mumbai. Daji has done various roles in his life which totals up to a count of 78.
His plays include the Marathi comedy play ‘Hich Tar Premachi Khari Gammat Ahe,’ the play ‘Lagnachi Goshta,’ the very famous ‘
Macbeth’, in Marathi along with Durga Khote, P.L. Deshpande’s ‘Tuzha Ahe Tuzhpashi,’ which was one of his plays that lead to his great success in which he was given the role of Kakaji, as well as the play ‘Tochi ek Samarth.’ In the year 1993, he also appeared in the T.V serial ‘
Byomkesh Bakshi’ for two episodes.
This famous Indian theater artist has also been a part of the film ‘
Vijeta’, in the year of 1982, directed by
Govind Nihalani. Being an English as well as Sanskrit scholar, Mr. Bhatwadekar has written a book on the Sanskrit theater, explaining the various “Rasa’s” as well as expressions connected with acting. In his early 70’s he took a Doctorate Degree.
It is not just the ‘Padma Shri’ Award that he has earned. Awards and titles like ‘Natya Bhushan,’ ‘Maharashtra Ratna’, ‘Kala Gaurav,’ as well as ‘Nata Samraat’ were added to his glory. He died on the 26th of December, which is observed as Dr. Daji Bhatawadekar Memorial Day in Mumbai.