Noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar, whose experimentation with socially controversial themes jolted the orthodox Marathi theatre, died in Pune on Monday after a protracted illness.
Tendulkar, 80, died at 0800 hours. He was suffering from myasthenia gravis -- a muscular disorder -- and had been admitted to a city hospital a few weeks back.
"He slipped into coma on Sunday and never regained consciousness," Dr Shirish Prayag, who was treating him, said.
A large number of theatre and film personalities, including Amol Palekar and Lalan Sarang, visited the hospital to pay their last respect to the author, who received acclaim for his works including screenplays for many famous Marathi and Hindi movies.
The Mumbai-based author, also father of the late actress Priya Tendulkar, is survived by two daughters -- Sushma and Tanjua -- who were at his bedside when he breathed his last.
The author of controversial works like Ghashiram Kotwal and Sakharam Binder, Tendulkar was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1984. He also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, Saraswati Sanman and Kalidas Sanman for his works and the Filmfare award for best screenplay. He wrote screenplays for movies like Manthan, Akrosh and Ardhasatya.
He has also translated Mohan Rakesh's Hindi drama Aadhe Adhure and Girish Karnad's Kannada drama Tughlaq into Marathi.
Tendulkar also authored as many as 25 one act plays in addition to novels and short stories.
The playwright, who began his career as a journalist and wrote many widely read newspaper columns, was given the Jawaharlal Nehru fellowship in 1974-75.
The mortal remains of Tendulkar were cremated soon after his death without religious rituals as per his wish.
Those present during his cremation included his two daughters, brother Suresh and a large number of theatre and film personalities.
No funeral speeches were made in deference with the wishes of the playwright, who was also known for his Leftist leanings and social activism.