Popular Gujarati writer Tarak Mehta, who has a local Massachusetts connection, last week was conferred ‘Ramanbhai Nilkanth Award’ by Gujarat Sahitya Akademi and Government of Gujarat.
The award is given to a gujarati humorist with a wider appeal. In the year 2011 he was also awarded ‘Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar’ The Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar also known as Sahitya Gaurav Award, is a literary honor in Gujarat, India.
Tarak Mehta, whose daughter Eshani Shah and son-in-law Chandu Shah are residents of Massachusetts, was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.
Mehta is an Indian columnist, humorist, writer and playwright who is best known for the column Duniya Ne Undha Chasma in the Gujarati language. He has translated and adapted several comedy dramas into Gujarati, and has been well-known figure in the Gujarati theatre
The humorous weekly column first appeared in top Gujarati weekly magazine Chitralekha in March 1971 and ever since has been looking at contemporary issues from a different perspective. 87 years old author has published 80 books. In 2008 SAB TV, a popular entertainment channel in India owned by SONY television, started a show Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah based on his writings, and soon it became the flagship show of the channel and has entered Limca book of award and Guinness book of award as longest running daily comedy show. The show has completed 2000 plus shows.
Ramanbhai Nilkanth in whose memory the award was given to Tarak Mehta, was also the Mayor of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. He belonged to “Pandit-Yug” or “Goverdhan-Yug”. He wrote two classics of Gujarati literature namely “Bhadram-Bhadra” and “Rai no Parvat”. Ramanbhai Nilkanth was a renowned short story writer and became the first Hon. Secretary of the Ahmedabad Red Cross founded in 1923.