Vijay Khatu, 63, the man known for creating huge well-known idols for Mumbai’s Lalbaug, Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal (Ganesh Galli), Chandanwadi, Chinchpoklicha Chintamani, Khetwadi and Tulsiwadi mandals passed away due to a heart attack on Wednesday, just about a month before the Ganpati festival.
Khatu used to make idols since the age of 12 with his father Ramkrishna who was also a well-known idol maker. Khatu also did a course on sculpting from Sir JJ School of Art.
Due to the repetitive requests from his dad, he joined under Master Dinanath Velling, the pioneer in making huge, life size idols. Khatu made his 1st huge idols at the age of 17.
Later Velling also gave most of his molds to Khatu as he had the talent of creating innocence in Bappa’s eyes, which was helping him to keep the legacy alive.
Khatu was cremated at Dadar on Wednesday evening. The rituals were carried out by his wife Vinaya, son Rohit and daughter Reshma.
Khatu worked in his workshop for more than 50 years and made 200+ idols. The workshop was then visited by his relative, close friends and his admirers in order to pay their last respect.