Celebrated Marathi poet and author Manik Godghate, popularly known as ‘Grace,' passed away on Monday morning fighting cancer at the Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital here. He was 75 years old.

Known for his path-breaking work in Marathi literature, Godghate, was a household name owing to his poetry that was used in many popular songs. Having many awards to his credit, he portrayed the apathy and sadness in human life.

He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award for his prose Varyane halte raan (The forest swings with the wind) in 2011, which according to many of his readers should have come much earlier in his life. He was decorated with Vidarbha Bhushan in 2011.

His works include Churchbell and Mitva in prose, and Sandhyakalchya Kavita, Rajputra and Darling, Sanjbhayachay Saajani and Chandramadhaviche Pradesh in poetry.

Irreparable loss

Condolences poured in from all quarters. “He was indeed a person who gave a completely new turn to Marathi poetry. His loss is irreparable,” poet Mangesh Padgaonkar stated.

Singer Lata Mangeshkar described him as a “father figure” and a friend of the Mangeshkar family. “I feel fortunate that I have sung the song Bhay ithale sampat nahi (the fears here do not end) penned by him. After all, he fought cancer without any fear, but has left us today.”

Terming Grace a “great poet,” Dalit poet Namdev Dhasal said even Maharashtra had failed to recognise the true worth of the literary genius. Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan said, “Poet Grace was a beautiful dream to have occurred to the world of Marathi literature and poetry.”