{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

Article Hindi Marathi

Shahu Modak centenary: Dilip Prabhavalkar awarded for contribution to cinema

Child artiste Aarya Adhav was also awarded for his performance in the recently released Marathi movie, Dashakriya (2017). 

Keyur Seta

Veteran actor Dilip Prabhavalkar was presented with the Jyesht Abhineta Puraskar (senior actor award) at the Shahu Modak Smruti Puraskar Foundation event in Pune yesterday for his contribution to cinema.

The event has been taking place for the past 24 years on Modak’s birth anniversary and is organized by his wife Pratibha Shahu Modak. This year is Modak's birth centenary.

Aarya Adhav was given the Best Child Actor award for his performance in Sandeep Bhalchandra Patil’s Marathi movie Dashakriya (2017). Nandini Gaikwad was bestowed the Best Child Singer award and Rahul Deshmukh the Zidd Puraskar (visually challenged person who has become a support for others with similar disability). Shreekrishna Karve Guruji was awarded for his contribution to astrology.

After receiving the award, Prabhavalkar said, “I consider myself fortunate to get an award in the name of Shahu Modak, and that too on his birth centenary. His life story has been stunning. Despite being a Christian, he played the role of Krishna 29 times. He was the first child actor in Shyamsunder (1932). The first double role was also played by him in Aut Ghatakecha Raja (1932)."

Shahu Modak as Sant Dnyaneshwar

Recalling his earliest memory of Modak, he said, “I was in school when I saw his film for the first time. It was Manoos (1939). I saw it at the Prabhat Film Company’s film festival, where our teachers took us. I was amazed by the film. He played Ganpat Hawaldar Buckle Number 255. He was an ideal example of making a character look so realistic.

"I saw him in a drastically different role in and as Sant Dnyaneshwar (1940). I wondered if he was the same person. His image was so strong that in a lot of houses, his pictures were used in calendars.”

Prabhavalkar also touched upon Modak’s real-life persona. “I used to wonder how this person, who plays such simple, peaceful and spiritual characters, would be in real life in terms of nature and personality. Slowly, this puzzle started getting solved and I realized how great a person he is in real life, too. He also excelled in spirituality, philosophy, astrology and music,” he said.

The veteran signed off saying, “Every character gives you a vision and every award makes you more humble. I consider this award Shahurao Modak’s blessing and it will always help me to learn to be humble.”

It was decided by Pratibha Shahu Modak that her husband’s centenary event will be the last in the series. “It is because of people’s support that this event has been running for the past 24 years," she told the assembly. "I am thankful to all of you. Everything needs to stop some day. This is the law of life. So I thought his centenary can be the perfect occasion.”

Shahu Modak through the eyes of his spiritual partner and wife Pratibha Modak

She added that while the decision has been a tough one, life should move on. “The other day, the newspapers said, ‘Shahu Modak Pratishthan comes to an end.’ I was stunned for a minute thinking that the event, for which we work hard every year, is ending. But I thought I am now getting free to get a source for inner strength for other people’s welfare,” she added.

Shahu Modak in Bhagwan Shreekrishna

However, Girish Bapat, a minister in the Maharashtra government, and Ulhas Pawar, senior Congress leader, who were also present, urged Modak not to stop the event and promised to help keep it going.

Shahu Modak was a well-known actor in Marathi and Hindi cinema who was active from the 1930s to the mid-1980s. He was popular for playing mythological characters. He holds the record of essaying the part of Krishna 29 times in his career. He was also a renowned astrologer.