Indian Humorist & Playwright Taarak Mehta Passes Away!

Journalist-playwright Taarak Mehta, whose column “Duniye Ne Oondha Chashma” for a Gujarati magazine inspired popular sitcom ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’, passed away this morning after a prolonged illness. Tarak, 87, wasn’t keeping well from the past three-four months. He died in Ahmedabad, confirmed actor Dilip Joshi, who plays Jethalal Champaklal Gada on the show.

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Dilip Joshi told a leading daily, this morning,

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“We are shooting right now and just a few minutes ago, we got this news. He wasn’t well. It is not easy for us to shoot right now… I was a huge fan of Tarak bhai. I grew up reading his columns and then even acted in plays. So, I had a long association with him. I was in touch with him in his last months as well. Every time I used to go to Ahmedabad, I used to meet him. Even though physically he was very weak, his wit and humor were intact.”

Shailesh Lodha who plays Taarak Mehta on the show told a leading entertainment portal,

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“His death has left a huge void in our lives. It will be tough to replace him and this vacuum that has been created. Taarak Mehta’s death is a great loss not only for the Gujarati community but for India’s literary circuit. It is a loss for readers, a loss for the literary community who looked upto him for inspiration. I am yet to get over this news.”

His humorous column first appeared in Chitralekha in March 1971. Taarak Mehta has also written six popular Gujarati plays. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2015. The show’s producer, Asit Modi, who also shared a close bond with the acclaimed writer will go to Ahmedabad to meet Tarak’s family. He was quoted saying,

“He was quite old. So, there were many age-related problems. This doesn’t come as a shock but of course is very saddening as I was close to him. I met him just last month. I will probably fly to Ahmedabad today.”

Tarak Mehta is survived by his wife, daughter and two grandsons.

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