Beyond Humour

Sandhya Kane tells the story of her grandfather 'Chi Vi' Joshi through a compilation of letters and articles

We all have known his stories through books and their various adaptations in television, theatre and films. But, through my book, I wanted to tell the story of the man who was also a humorist," says Sandhya Kane of her late grandfather, the famous writer and humourist Chintaman Vinayak Joshi, popularly known as "Chi Vi" Joshi.

Known for his humorous works that revolved around the plight of common man, Joshi is widely known for his collection of works such as Chimanravache Charhat, Moru ani Maina, Gundyabhau and Hapus Payri. "He is perhaps the most widely read humorist in Marathi," says Kane, explaining, "You see, there is a lot of difference between wit and humour. PL Deshpande was witty and funny, but Chi Vi was a pure humorist."

Kane's book, Chi Vi Sahityatle ani Aathvanitle (Continental Prakashan, Rs 300), which will be launched in Pune on February 7, is a collection of stories, essays, letters, published articles and descriptions collected by Kane. "I took almost a year to research and compile it. Some stories are from my own memories of him and some are essays compiled by his contemporaries, family members, friends, publishers, colleagues and students. We have to understand that a lot of time has passed between then and now. If he had lived, it would have been his 121st birthday last month," says Kane.

Joshi was born in 1892 in Pune. After finishing his high school education in 1909 at Pune's Nutan Marathi Vidyalaya, he completed his graduation in philosophy from Fergusson College in 1913 and postgraduation in Pali and English literature from Mumbai University two years later.

"From 1915-1919, Joshi taught in a high school, first in Umaravati and then in Ratnagiri. In 1920, he joined a college in Baroda as a professor of Pali, English, and Marathi literature. For some years since 1928, he also worked part time as Director of Archives for the then-princely state of Baroda. After retirement, he moved to Pune and lived here till his death," says Kane.

The book contains articles from Joshi's contemporaries and family and includes articles by actors like Vijaya Dhumal and Dilip Prabhavalkar, who acted in Doordarshan television serial Chimanrao Gundyabhau based on Joshi's short stories in the late 1970s. Kane, 57, who is a retired physicist, is now working on translating the biography of Stephen Hawking in Marathi.

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