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Ram Ganesh Gadkari – Marathi Dramatist – Poet – Humorist

Ram Ganesh Gadkari was a Marathi dramatist, poet and humorist. He was born on May 16, 1885, in Navsari in Gujarat. He was educated at Jamnagar, Karjat  and Pune, and received his education up to the end of the first year in college. He wrote numerous articles under the pen-name ‘Balarama’ and his poems under the name ‘Govindagraj.’

He worked as assistant editor of the Marathi daily Gnanaprakash, and was also an assistant teacher in the New English School in Pune for some time. Then he joined the Kirloskar Natak Mandali (an established dramatic company) for writing songs for plays.

At the age of 17, Ram Ganesh Gadkari wrote a drama called Mitra-Preeti. He wrote an incomplete drama in 1906, which was completed by his friend and well-known actor, Chintamanrao Kolhatkar. His first poem, ‘Allad Premas” (To Immature Love), was published in Manoranjan, the popular Marathi magazine of his time. His humorous articles were published in the same magazine.

His first drama, Prema-Sanyasa (Love-Renounced) (1913), depicts the different aspects of love; Punya Prabhava, his next drama, was published in 1917, which delineates the power of chastity in a wife. His most well known and popular drama is Ekach Pyala (Only One Peg). It narrates powerfully and emotionally the evil effects of alcoholism. Sudhakar, a well-established and cultured pleader, gets addicted to wine and misbehaves with his wife, Sindhu.

His third drama, Bhava Bandhana (A tie of sentiments), is a social play. His historical play, Raj Sanyasa, is about Sambhaji, the son of Shivaji Maharaj; but it is incomplete.

Even today his Vag Vaijayanti an anthology of poetical compositions, is popular. Pathos and humor are the two sentiments which he depicted effectively in his composition.

His Sindhu, Gita and Taliram in Ekach Pyala; Dhundiraj and Kamanna, respectively, and Ghanasyama in Bhava Bandhana; and Kalindi in Punya Prabhava as well as Tulasi in Raj Sanyasa, are immortal characters.

Ram Ganesh Gadkari died at Samer in Gujarat, just after writing the last episode of Bhava Bhandhan on January 23, 1919.




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