Yesterday in the morning was watching the song from PYAASA – Ye mehlon ye takhto ye taajon ki duniya, suddenly the news flashed on the screen, ace Design Director, Nitin Desai has committed suicide. Suicide? Nitin Desai the man who brought opulence into the world of Hindi cinema with a sense of reality was no more? I checked the Instagram post, and found Rasul Pookutty in a state of distraught announcing the demise of Nitin Chandrakant Desai.
By the evening the news had spelt like wild fire in the industry, but was there some kind of a mourning for the departed soul? The soul that gave legendary films like 1942-A LOVE STORY, LAGAAN, JODHA AKBAR and KBC the realism of location at his studio in Karjat which he had specifically designed to aid the filmmakers shoot films within the vicinity of Mumbai with as diverse and myriad sets that they could imagine.
Would BIGG BOSS had been BIGG BOSS where it not for the luxury of sets that Nitin Desai provided at his studio? So, where are the stars, makers and others from this iconic fraternity of cinema on this occasion of monumental loss? Could they not have closed the industry at least for one day in honour of the man who gave a new vitality to the industry through his iconic set designs?
In 2001, on completion of 25 years in Hindi cinema a book was launched in Marathi with the title ‘Adhunik Yugacha VIshwakarma’ written by Mandar Joshi. Amitabh bachchan had graced the occasion. Now as his KBC-15 season is going on, which also got a lux look thanks to the set created by the Adhunik Vishwakarma – Nitin Desai, did the Vishwakarma not deserve at least a tribute through a tweet from all these actors, who have benefited from the designs of Nitin Desai? Be it an Aamir Khan, or a Salman Khan, they all have got new lease of life in their acting careers thanks to immense contribution by Nitin Desai through his set designs.
His prowess in designing was one of the primary reasons that he was bestowed with the responsibility of designing the pandal of ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’, the iconic Ganesha from Mumbai. What would be the shape of the pandal this year, when the creator has passed on to make merry with Lord Ganesha in heaven? Perfect tribute to the memory of Nitin Desai would be merge his interpretations of Lord Ganesha as a composite tribute this year.
Conferred with various awards during his lifetime for his creation, he had rued to the organizers during one of those programmes that the awards that he is conferred are in the ‘Technical’ category which are announced in the early stage of the programmes where stars have not yet turned up at the award functions.
Could this be the case that the star fraternity has maintained a studied silence on such a solemn occasion? Is he being treated just as a technical man who did not have a star value?
The sticky financial situation, which is being touted as the cause of his death, could it not have been avoided? After all, through the creations of this modern Vishwakarma the industry made crores and even few of those could have chipped in to bring him out of the financial crisis? A wishful thinking perhaps…
As Sahir Ludhianvi had written in PYAASA – Dekhi zamaane kee yaari, bichde sabhi baari baari