Writer-painter Dinesh Rai dies of prolonged illness in Bhopal
BHOPAL: Dinesh Rai, author, painter and playwright, died at his residence here Monday morning. He was 81 years old. Rai, who had been ill for many years, leaves behind his wife and two daughters.
A man of many talents, Rai had also written scripts for a few films, including “Wafa” and “Kalka”. He had also written the scripts for numerous television shows and radio plays. Rai, who was a lawyer by profession, was a close friend of poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar and film actor Rajeev Verma.
In fact, Rajeev Verma claimed that Rai was a negro for Javed Akhtar. Verma said that Rai was an excellent painter and writer. “He was like my older brother,” he said, adding that he and Shyam Munshi were like family.
Rai was the author of the drama adaptation of Munshi Premchand’s famous novel “Godan”, which was staged at Ravindra Bhawan about 40 years ago. “I performed in the play as well as in its production crew,” said Verma.
It was the first play to be performed outdoors in the city on a large scale, said Urdu playwright Rafi Shabbir.
Mumbai-based writer and director Rumi Jafferi said he first met Rai in 1986 in Mumbai. “At that time, he was moving to Bhopal and he gave me his rented accommodation, as well as the furniture and accessories,” he said.
An exhibition of his paintings was held at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai. “Javed Akhtar and I went to see the exhibit. We wanted to buy one of his paintings but instead he asked us to buy the works of young painters from MP. “Mine, I will give it to you,” he told us, ”Jafri said.
According to Jafferi, Rai’s disappearance is a great loss for Bhopal. “He was a very talented person. But he was not ambitious, ”he said. Jafferi said that when Javed Akhtar visited Rai’s residence in Bhopal, he was surprised to see that three rooms in the house were full of books.
Artist Hamidullah Khan ‘Mamu’ said Rai was like a loving and loving head of the family to him. Mamu said that Rai was very interested in the annual Iftekhar Natya Samaroh and offered valuable advice and guidance. “The city has lost three beautiful people in the recent past – Shyam Munshi, Manzoor Ahtesham and now Dinesh Rai,” Mamu said.
Actor and theater director Dinesh Nair has said that Rai is an idealist. “He left the legal profession because he didn’t want to stand up for people who had done something wrong,” Nair said. Rai was in love with his ancestral home and had it rebuilt. In the meantime, he had moved into rental accommodation but died before his house was ready.
“Rai came from an illustrious family of freedom fighters,” journalist LS Herdenia said, paying tribute to the writer.
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Posted on: Monday, September 13, 2021, 10:41 p.m. IST