Literary and film legend, Madhusudan Kalelkarwas famous not only as a Marathi playwright, storyteller and poet but also as a lyricist and screenwriter in Marathi and Hindi films. Kalelkar wrote a total of 29 plays and 111 films in Marathi including 34 in Hindi. He wrote across genres, dealing with serious social issues as well as light humorous topics. Among his key Hindi films are Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962), Bluff Master (1963), Jhumroo (1961), Farar (1975), Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaye (1977), Akhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se (1978), Geet Gaata Chal (1975), Baarish (1957), Abodh (1984), Naughty Boy (1962), and Joru Ka Ghulam (1972). Kalelkar won the Filmfare Best Screenplay Award for Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaye (1977). He was awarded 9 times by the Maharashtra State Marathi Film Festival for Best Story, Screenplay and Dialogue. His Marathi film Ha Mazha Marg Ekla (1963) also won the President's Award. The Gujarat government also posthumously awarded him the Best Story award for Janmadata.
Born on 22 March, 1924 Madhusudan Kalelkar schooled in Vengurle, before heading to Bombay. Living initially in Girgaum, on the occasion of Ganeshotsav, he wrote his first play. Thus, began his writing career, as he went on to amass a wealth of literature over several years. He produced four plays. While many of his plays were performed in Gujarati, three to four plays have been made into Hindi and Marathi films.
He was adjudged winner of the Filmfare Best Screenplay Award for his work in the Rajshri production Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaye, the Hindi musical drama film directed by Lekh Tandon. At the Maharashtra State Marathi Film Festival, he was awarded a total of nine times for Best Story, Screenplay and Dialogue. His work in Anolakhi (1974/75), Gupchup Gupchup (1983/84), and Bala Gau Kashi Angai (1977/78) remains admirable. He was awarded Best Songwriter for the song Chandra zhopla ga bai which remains a favourite till date.
Kalelkar’s plays Apradh Meech Kela, Sagara Pran Talmalla and Shikar won the Maharashtra Government Award for Best Literary Art. He was also awarded the Rasrang Phalke Award three times. He was honoured by Gadima Pratishthan with special honours and awards for Best Writer.
Madhusudan Kalelkar also wrote three books - Nate Yugayugache (Drama), Paying Guest (drama), and Honeymoon (characterization). To Rajhans Ek by Ramesh Udare a biography on Madhusudan Kalelkar, delineates his poetry and career.
Madhusudan Kalelkar passed away on December 17, 1985.