August 9, 2013 3:18:56 am
Just three months after receiving the Padma Shri for a lifetimes work in Marathi natyasangeet or musical theatre,legendary singer-actor Jaymala Shiledar passed away early on Thursday. A protege of Bal Gandharva,Shiledar was a renowned performer and drew a packed house for her performances. She performed over 52 different roles in 46 dramas in a career that spanned over 50 years and 4,500 shows. Many of these plays,like Sangeet Manapman and Shakuntal,continue to remain popular and are revived time and again.
Shiledar who suffered renal failure as well as symptoms of cardiac failure died at 2 am on Thursday,said her daughter Kirti. For the past week,she had been complaining of discomfort and shortness of breath. At first her BP fell,so we took her to the hospital. But when she started to get better,she was discharged. Then she complained of breathing problems and we took her back to the hospital. Her heart was working to only 30 per cent efficiency. Eventually though,it was her kidneys that failed, Kirti said.
Shiledar had been battling cardiac problems for many years. In 2000,she underwent a bypass surgery. A few years ago,she was fitted with a pacemaker in another surgery. But the stress of her illness and surgeries left her weak and she was no longer able to sing and could only speak in hoarse whispers. But her love for music stayed till the end. Even the day she was admitted to the hospital,she said she wanted to do riyaaz and she was singing the swars (seven notes), said Kirti.
Shiledar’s last rites were held at Vaikunth Smashan Bhoomi at 12 noon on Thursday. Several renowned artistes,such as actor Mohan Agashe,director Raj Dutt and actor Raghavendra Kadkol,payed their last respects,among many others who had interacted and worked with her.
I used to watch all her performances. Not one of them was performed without a smiling face. Her songs and acting were so beautiful,it was like the character itself had come to life, said Jayram Potdar,former director of the Sangeet Natak Academy.
I have worked with her for over 35 years. She groomed us,guided us how to act and sing. She was very kind-hearted and she always wanted to teach whatever she knew to her students, said Ravindra Kulkarni,a natyasangeet artiste.
Classical vocalist Suhas Vyas,who had known Shiledar for 25 years,said: Her generation had honesty in their art. She had dedicated her life to music and drama. She will be an inspiration for the coming generations.
Kirti spoke of continuing her legacy and said,Her plays continue to be performed to this day. Marathi Rangbhoomi,which she and my father started,will continue to be run by us and her grandchildren. We will try to walk her path,even if we cannot do it as well as her.
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