Film fraternity recounts his smile, fearlessness and creative energy

Mumbai: His smile, simplicity, fearlessness, creative energy and intellect are what the Indian film fraternity recounted as the news of veteran playwright, screenwriter, actor and director Girish Karnad's death broke on Monday morning, with a pall of gloom descending on the industry.

“Working with him in my very first film was more than a great honour. He was always helpful, caring, supportive and encouraging. His immense contribution to the industry as a writer, director and an actor will never be forgotten,” he added of the multi-talented icon, whose career spanned six decades, myriad mediums and languages.

National Award-winning actress Divya Dutta, who featured with Karnad in Chalk n Duster, told IANS: “He was one actor whose inherent goodness reflected in his eyes.

A perfect gentleman! I have met him and exchanged pleasantries a few times and seen plays written by him. My childhood is full of memories of his movies... Swami, Ratnadeep and Manthan. RIP to another legend from that magical generation.”

Filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar, who directed Karnad in Tiger Zinda Hai and Ek Tha Tiger, can't forget his "great experience" of working with the actor.

“He was such a gentleman and such a knowledgeable soul. It is not only the film fraternity that will miss him, but the entire nation.

He was a writer, a theatre actor, he used to direct plays, write plays and direct films. The kind of talent that he possessed was phenomenal. He was a great human being and a great person to have conversation with.

Karnad's vast experience saw him collaborate with actors and technicians across generations. His close friend Shabana Azmi, with whom he worked in Swami, Nishant and Manthan, among others, urged the media to allow her privacy to mourn Karnad's demise.

Anupam Kher described Karnad as a “great artiste, scholar and a brilliant playwright”. “My first small appearance in the film Utsav was under his direction.

Also acted in both Tughlaq and 'Hayavadan, plays written by him,” tweeted Anupam.With his plays, Karnad used his creativity in merging folk and historic references to modernism, capturing India's cultural, social and economic changes since gaining independence. “He has left behind many inspired fans who are writers. Their works perhaps will make his loss partly bearable,” he tweeted.

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