Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar paid their last respects to the mortal remains of Bollywood art director Nitin Desai at Mumbai's JJ Hospital. Desai, 57, died by suicide at his ND Studio at Karjat on Wednesday. Desai designed the sets of films such as "Lagaan" and "Jodhaa Akbar" and the popular TV quiz show "Kaun Banega Crorepati".
CM Shinde also paid homage to the four-time National Award-winner on Twitter. He wrote in Marathi, “Veteran art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai passed away today. This is an unfortunate and a shocking piece of news. The demise of Desai, who created a world of his own through his unique set designs in Maathi and Hindi films, is saddening. He had a special association with Tembhi Naka Devi (a popular temple in Maharashtra). He preserved and carried forward a tradition which started with Dharmaveer Anand Dighe Saheb. Navratri celebrations here came to unforgettable because of him (Desai). There was a lot of curiosity among the people to see his art works. It pains me that such a nice and humble man, who also happened to be a good friend, is no more with us. Today is a very sad day for me and our film industry."
As per IANS, the funeral for Desai will be performed near the helipad in his N.D. Art World Pvt. Ltd. studios on Friday afternoon. "The body will be brought to the studio named 'Diwan-E-Aam' at noon and then kept for darshan to enable people to pay their last respects," said Motiram Thomre, who was associated with Desai for over 20 years. Around 2 p.m., it will be taken in a procession with a flower-bedecked cortege to the helipad, located around half km inside the studio premises, and then consigned to the flames as per his desire.
Thomre said that Desai's wife Neha is awaiting their three children - a son and two daughters - who are expected to arrive here from the US early on Friday morning. Besides, many Bollywood personalities, several political figures, Desai's relatives and friends from Mumbai and Dapoli in Ratnagiri, and Raigad local villagers are likely to attend the funeral.