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Homage to Dr. Jayanti Patel, 'Ranglo'
Dr. Jayanti Kalidas Patel 'Ranglo', the well-known Gujarati playwright, theatre artist and humorist, passed away on 26-5-2019, at Ahmedabad. He was 95. He was born on 24-5-1924 at Ahmedabad. He obtained B. A. degree (University of Mumbai) in 1947, and was awarded Ph. D. degree (University of Mumbai) in 1982 for his research on 'Natya-yoga : A critical study' carried out under the guidance of Prof. S. A. Upadhyaya, Director, Bhavan's Mungalal Goenka Institute of Post-Graduate Studies and Research, Mumbai. In this research work, he analyzed the concept of theatre and its relationship with Yoga. He was much inspired by the Vedantic preachings of Swami Akhandanand Saraswati.
He participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942. In the 1940s and 1950s, he portrayed the comic character Ranglo (Jester) in many Gujarati plays on All India Radio, and in subsequent years, on stage and television, with such refinement that it ('Ranglo') became his identity for rest of his life. He also played lead role in many Gujarati plays presented by Rangmandal (Ahmedabad) and Indian National Theatre (Mumbai). He wrote many essays on drama and satire in Gujarati journal 'Akhand Anand' for about ten years. In 1967, he was offered the J. F. Kennedy Scholarship, and he extensively worked on the stage and art of cartoon in U.S.A, France, England and Germany. He wrote several Gujarati plays including 'Neta Abhineta', 'Mara Asatyana Prayogo', 'Sun Be Gafil Banda', 'Ranglani Ramalila', 'Saravale Badabaki', etc. He also wrote two booklets (in Gujarati) on (1) Art of Cartoon (and caricature), and (2) Bhavai (a popular folk theatre form prevalent in Western India, especially in Gujarat). 'Gandhi, Chaplin and Me2' - an English translation of his Gujarati book exploring the correlation between the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and Charlie Chaplin, was published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 2015.
He presented many plays under the banner of his theatre 'Inner Broadway' at Anand Ashram in New York State (U.S.A.), where he propagated Indian theatre and Yoga for about 25 years. His many plays were enacted at Bhavan's Kala Kendra (Chowpatty) and Bhavan's Cultural Centre (Andheri) in Mumbai. His many cartoons and caricatures were published in Bhavan's Gujarati monthly journal 'Navneet Samarpan.' He significantly contributed to the fields of theatre, cartoon, Yoga and art criticism, through his talks, lecture, and books, as well as through Radio, T.V., Film & other media. He married to Miss Sharda in 1947. He is survived by his three children : Ms. Warsha, Ms. Nivedita and Mr. Nilesh. The Bhavan Parivar pays homage to its alumnus and author Dr. Jayanti Patel, 'Ranglo.'
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