Noted Gujarati playwright Taarak Mehta passes away at 87

Noted Gujarati playwright Taarak Mehta passes away at 87AHMEDABAD: Eminent humorist and playwright Taarak Mehta, best known for his Gujarati column “Duniya Ne Undha Chasma”, passed away today at the age of 87 following a prolonged illness.

“The writer died at 87 after a prolonged illness due to age-related problems at his residence in the city,” family sources said.

The writer’s family has decided to donate his body for medical research.

Mehta’s columns, which first appeared in Gujarati weekly magazine ‘Chitralekha’ in 1971, were adapted into a TV serial, “Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma” in 2008, making him a household name across the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay his tributes to the writer in a series of tweets.

“Taarak Mehta’s writings always reflected India’s unity in diversity. His characters like Tappu live in people’s hearts,” Modi tweeted.

Along with a photo taken with Mehta, the PM also said Mehta was a man who “never left the company of his pen and satire”.

“Tributes to famous playwright and humorist Taarak Mehta.

He spent a lifetime dedicated to satire and pen.

“I have had the good fortune of meeting Taarak Mehta. I had also met him when he was honored with the Padma Shri award,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also condoled the writer’s demise.

“Gujarati writer and Padma Shree (sic) Tarak Mehta ji passes away. May his soul rest in peace,” he tweeted.

Expressing sadness over Mehta’s death, BJP president Amit Shah said in a tweet, “Tarak Mehtaji will always be remembered for his rich contribution to society and the laughter he gave to millions.”

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani remembered Mehta as a person “who always brought smile to our faces.”

He tweeted, “Saddened by the death of Tarak Mehta – humorist and columnist. He always brought smile to our faces.

My condolences to family members.”

Senior state Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, who visited Mehta’s residence to pay homage, said, “The beauty of the writings of Tarak Mehta was that it had nothing against anyone, nothing vulgar and not even a bad word, but it made us all laugh. The loss is very grave.”

Mehta wrote numerous comedy plays and books, and also penned columns in newspapers on contemporary issues.

“His writing was a class apart. His writings did not have any vulgarity, but made generations laugh till pain in our stomachs,” said actor Jitendra Thakkar, who has acted in many plays written by Mehta.

His death was also mourned by several film and television actors.

Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal tweeted, “Extremely saddened by the passing away of Shri Tarak Mehta… a great humorist in any language! RIP Mehta Saheb.”

Actress Richa Chaddha said, “Rip Tarak Mehta. Thank you for the humor. You shall be missed.”

Munmun Dutta, who plays the character of Babitaji in “Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashma”, said the writer was full of life despite poor health.

“Saddened by the news of #TaarakMehta sir passing away.
Last time when I met him, I could see his health failing him.
He was still spirited… and full of life… My respect to him.”

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