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Eminent cartoonist Mangesh Tendulkar, whose succinct depiction of life through his wide-ranging creations not only evoked awe in readers but also stirred their conscience, died after a brief illness at a private hospital here, family sources said today. He was 82. Tendulkar, who wore many hats as a social activist and an author, breathed his last at the Ruby Hall Clinic last night. His last rites were performed today. He is survived by wife, a son and a daughter and their families. The veteran cartoonist, who had been suffering from bladder cancer for the last few years, was hospitalised on Sunday and underwent a surgery.
However, he developed a pulmonary embolism (blockage of an artery in the lungs) and died Monday night, according to the hospital officials. Born in Kolhapur, Tendulkar, the younger brother of famous playwright late Vijay Tendulkar, shifted to Pune in the early stage of his life and did his schooling from Bhave School in the city. After doing his BSc, he started working in the Ammunition Factory in Khadki, but his passion was cartoons and writing. Tendulkar did not receive any formal training in cartooning, but he mastered the nuances of the art and took it beyond entertainment by highlighting various aspects and issues ranging from politics, art, civic issues, environment on canvas. Through his cartoons, he commented on various aspects of life. His brush was active until his final days and an exhibition of his select cartoons was organised here last month. As a social activist, he was associated with the traffic branch of the Pune Police and was creating awareness among people about obeying traffic rules. His several cartoons and caricatures based on the theme of traffic are displayed at various junctions and signals in the city. Tendulkar often used to stand at traffic signals and distribute postcards with a message on following traffic rules, to commuters. As an author, he penned several books, including "Bhuichakra", "Sunday Mood" (compilation of 53 articles and cartoons), "Kuni Pampato Ajun Kalokh" among others. He regularly contributed to various magazines and newspapers. Recalling Tendulkar, noted artist Ravi Paranjape said he knew the cartoonist since the last 25 years. "More than a cartoonist, I know him as a social activist, who with the use of his brush, used to highlight the issues and the wrong things in the society effectively," he reminisced. Renown cartoonist SD Phadnis recalled Tendulkar did not restrict himself to cartooning and came on the road for a social cause. "We have lost a multi-faceted personality today," said Phadnis.