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Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar

Panditji compiled  books on music. He devised his own notation system suitable to Indian classical music, based on the notation system in western classical music.  He also composed notations for the national anthem of India and the famous patriotic song  “Sare Jahanse Achha”, which are classical music based tunes. Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar was the pioneer  to establish Gandharva   Mahavidyalaya and start a degree course in Indian classical music. He was an  Institution of Indian classical music in himself. Besides being an excellent and   renowned vocalist, he strived to bring Divine music to layman. They are different from those  which are now known to the Indian community in general. His compositions for semi-classical songs became popular. He also established RamNam Adhar Ashram at Nashik in 1924, where a hall is still offered free of cost to anybody who wishes to give Indian classical   music performance.

Dadasaheb Phalke

Late Shri Dadasaheb Phalke - the pioneer of the Indian Film industry hailed from Nashik District. Born in Trimbakeshwar -  about 30 kms away from Nashik, he worked and spent his life in  Nashik. Dadasaheb’s name is Dhundiraj Govind Phalke. Born on 30th April 1870 in Trimbakeshwar he devoted his life for making silent movies. He had a multifaceted personality. He was the student of  Sir  J.J. School of Art, Bombay and Kalabhavan of Baroda. After passing out from the art school, while in Bombay, he happened to see a movie on the life of Jesus Christ made  by  a foreigner. It was projected on 7th July 1896 in Watson Hotel by Mr Meris Sestiye - the representative of the pioneer of Cinema Industry - Lumie Brothers. That inspired him to make an experiment of a movie in India. The film making techniques were alien to Indians then. Starting with the famous movie on mythological character “Raja Harishchandra” in 1913, he made 95 movies and 26  short films in the span of 19 years, till 1932. He earned a lot of money, but ploughed it back in the industry. When he stepped in to this venture, no one had anticipated this industry to flourish so much that thousands of people would be able to earn their livelihood from it, nor did anyone  foresee the amount of huge money transactions in it.


Mr V V Shirwadkar alias“Kusumagraj”

Mr V V Shirwadkar’s original name was Gajanan Ranganath Shirwadkar. After he was adopted, his name changed to Vishnu Waman Shirwadkar. He is born in Pune on 27th February 1912 . His primary education was in Pimpalgaon and high school education was in New English School ,Nashik, which is now called as J.S. Rungtha High School of Nashik. He passed matriculation from Bombay University. His poems and articles were published in "Balbodhmewa " magazine edited by the famous poet of Maharashtra D.N. Tilak way back in 1929, when he was hardly 17 years old. . He joined H.P.T. College in 1930 and his poems were then published in "Ratnakar" magazine. In 1932, he participated in the "Satyagraha" for allowing untouchables to enter Kala Ram Temple. Since then the budding poet in him started soaring up in the sky of literature - by writing not only poems, but stories, plays , writing for the news papers like Weekly Prabha, Daily Prabhat, Sarathi, Dhanurdhari, Navyug etc. In 1942 his collection of poems "Vishakha" was published and is till date being cherished by Marathi speaking people. Likewise his collections of poems named "Marathi Mati", "Swagat", "Himraesha", "Yayati Ani Devayani", "Veej Mhanali Dhartila" were published in 1960, 1962 , 1964, 1966 and 1967 respectively .They all received Maharashtra State Awards. His first novel "Vaishnav" and his first drama "Doorche Dive" were published in 1946. His play "Natsamrat" is one of the mile stones in not only play writing, but also for the staging of the play. Natsamrat is welcomed by the Marathi speaking population like anything. The theme of this play is very touching and an eye-opener for many old people. Many old people are said to have changed their will, after seeing this drama.

A detailed list of his awards will be very long. However, without a mention of the following awards, one would not appreciate why he is considered such a great poet and writer. His play "Natsamrat" received Sahitya Academy Award in 1974. He received Ram Ganesh Gadkari Award of All India Natya Parishad in 1985. Poona University conferred on him the honourable degree of D.Lit. in 1986. In 1988 he received Sangeet Natya Lekhan Award. Topping the list is the "Dnyanpeeth Award", which he received in 1988. Considering his great contribution to Marathi literature, he was selected for this award. Earlier his senior friend, well-known Marathi Writer - Mr V.S. Khandekar had received this award. He was the first Marathi person to receive it and the second one is Kusumagraj.

What is he as a person?
While this gives a general overview of his literary work, to understand Kusumagraj as a person, one has to look at the other facets of his personality. He is the resource person for many a cultural and social movements in Nashik. E.g. Lokhitwadi Mandal was established by him in 1950. In 1962 he was elected and then continued till 1972 as President of the Sarvajanik Vachanalaya Nasik - one of the oldest and famous libraries of Nashik. The decade of 1962-72 was the Golden Period in the history of Sarvajanik Vachanalaya. He helps anybody who approaches him for guidance - for the social work, personal work, literary project or otherwise. Within no time he finds the potential of a person and guides him/her in that direction. However when it comes to any celebration for him, he prefers to take a back seat. His favourite writer is P.G. Wodehouse and the favourite actor is Charli Chaplin.

Shri. Vasant Kanetkar

Maharashtra is one of the few states in our country that enjoys a rich tradition in theatre and Shri Vasant Kanetkar has made significant contribution to theatre awareness in the people of Maharashtra. Kanetkar's career as a dramatist spans over four decades. He has to his credit more than forty plays and is at present busily engaged in adding to his oeuvre with several plays on the anvil.Born in 1920 at Rahimutpur, Satara district, Sri Vasant Kanetkar was educated in Pune and Sangli. His father was the famous S. K. Kanetkar popularly known as Kavi Girish, scholar poet and founder member of the Ravi Kiran Mandal that devoted itself to serving the cause of the poetic muse. Sri Vasant Kanekar's career presents a striking parallel to that of his illustrious father. Soon after his M.A. which he obtained at Sangli in 1948, he joined as a lecturer in Nashik. In 1950, he became a life member of Gokhale Education Society with which he was associated till 1972.

Sri Kanketkar was fortunate to have been guided initially in the literary endeavours of his youth by the famous Marathi novelist V.V.Khandekar to whom he was related and by the well-known educationist and literature V.K. Gokak who had taught him at Sangli. While the former taught him to savour the classics, the latter gave him a through insight into Shakespearean drama. In 1950 Kanetkar published his first major work, Ghar, an experimental novel combining the stream of consciousness technique and free verse, which registered notable success. This was followed by two more novels.

 

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