Pioneer of Gujarati theatre drama, noted Director Markand Bhatt died on February 5, 2016 at the age of 87 due to succinct illness. His death has left a void in the forte of Gujarati theatre which will be convoluted to fill in the years to come. He is survived by his son and daughter.
An Aluminous of Maharaja Sayajirao University, Markand Bhatt was born on 1929 in the Gujarati City of Baroda. A career marked by enormous feats in the sphere of Gujarati theatre, Markand Bhatt is one of the pioneering figures that helped Gujarati contemporary theatre achieve the epochs of prominence. Markand Bhatt completed his education from the Maharaja Sayajirao University and then served in capacity as the Dean of Saurastra Sangeet Natak Academy before assuming the charge as the Head of the Department of Theatre in the Maharaja Sayajirao University. He presided over as the Chairman of Gujarat Sangeet Natak Academy for the period of 1992-95. He also left his mark in the emergence of city based theater pattern through his association with a Baroda based theatre group called Triveni.
Honors & Notable Work
For his excellence and contribution to the evolution of Gujarati Theatre space, he was conferred the prestigious award of Sangeet Natak Academy in 2008. Owing to the richness and brilliance of his ingenuity in the paradigm of theatre drama, his magnum opus such as Dhara Gurjari, Sheetal Ne Kanthe, Finger Print, Paritran and Hoholika still retain an illustrious echelon in the chronology of Gujarati theatre drama.
“He was like a father figure to me and we had family relations. Incidentally, my father Jaswant Thakar who founded the first theatre college at MS University in Vadodara played a major role in getting Bhatt married to his wife Urmila, who was a non-Gujarati. The husband-wife duo had trained under my father and he was one of the few actors who made a name in theatre nationally.” said Aditi Desai, Theatre Person.
“I studied under him and specialized in Direction. He was ‘a giver’ as far as theatre was concerned and I recall having accompanied him when he was the Dean at MSU- Faculty of Performing Arts to USA. There he had taken us (students) to several theatre departments from where I learnt a lot.” said PS Chari, Secretary, Triveni.
"He was a down to earth person. He had initiated a process where as part of academics, students would stage plays before locals. It was my privilege to have learnt drama under him. As a teacher, he has always been my source of inspiration," said Prabhakar Dabhade, Head of Dramatics Department, Maharaja Sayajirao University.
Children: Suketu Bhatt
(FAN OF Mr. MARKAND BHATT)
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