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Playwright and humorist Taarak Mehta, who passed away on Mach 1, got a “haasyaanjali” (tribute in laughter) by his family and large number of fans on Sunday. It was led by humorist Ashok Dave who declared the meet as A-shok Sabha (no-grief meet). The meet went on for a couple of hours as usual, but gloom was nowhere to be seen in air. All speakers in colourful attire narrated their association with the late humorist with fondness for him, never let sadness creep in, in a lighter tone, often punctuated by a burst of laughter. Ashok Dave said those who claimed very close relation with Mehta were nowhere around him when he was in critical condition.
Maulik Kotak, owner of Chitralekha magazine, in which Mehta started his column in 1971, said his column was so popular that he still had by heart its first episode. Many veterans said they still remember they had to wait for their turn in family to read to read “Duniyane Undha Chashma” in their childhood. Shyam Pathak, who plays ‘Popatlal’ said Mehta was a like a father figure to him, who would always call him by his character name of ‘Popatlal’.
Veteran humorist Vinod Bhatt said he had not seen one Gujarati writer receiving such acclaim in life and beyond as that received by Taarak Mehta. “We would always be competing with each other in catching illness, he won finally,” he said.