“When Vimal taai passed away, at the same time Jaimala taai was admitted to hospital. I told Kirti (Jaimala taai's daughter) to convey the message when she feels better. However, just after two days we received the sad message about Jaimala taai's death. The saddest part is that no one could go there to meet her (during her last days) because here Vimal taai's rituals were going on,”added Jadhav.
In past week Marathi fraternity lost two gems Padma Shri Jaimala Shiledar and Vimal Jadhav. These two women and their families worked for keeping authenticity of Marathi fraternity alive, and some of the family members are still working for the same.
One of the members were Bhalchandra Jadhav. He was not only a proud brother of Jaimala Shiledar but was her biggest supporter who helped her to achieve dreams. Jadhav who shared her life's journey with The Hitavada said, “My father Narayanrao Jadhav was great devotee of classical music, at that time we were in Pune. Being a first child he forced Jayamala Taai to learn music. In very few days my father observed her talent of acting too. She first came on stage in 1942 when she actied in 'Veshaantar', a musical drama. And from there she never looked back.”
Explaining the personality of Jaimala Shiledar, her younger brother Balchandra Jadhav said that she was too simple. “Her simplicity was biggest asset of her personality, in difficult times too she solved issues calmly and that what's made her different from others.”
Jadhav while talking about Shilder's dedication for Marathi Natyasangeet said that the time she got opportunity to work with legendary Balgandharva in lead role, and from very moment she began worshiping Marathi Natyasangeet.
“I remember she used to strictly order me to not reveal bookings to any actors, because it will divert their mind. She had nothing to do with bookings and crowd, she worked only for Natyasangeet and tried to give error free performances. Being a singer she used to take care when there used to be mixing of Raagas. She tried to keep as authentic and as she can and presented error free Raagas to music lovers through Natyasangeet,” said Balchandra Jhadhav.
Jairam Shiledar, Jaimala Shilder's husband who also dedicated his life to Marathi Natyasangeet supported her throughout. After working in 'Shakuntal' together both decided to get married. Their vibes did not only match emotionally but they both took decision to stay away from the silver screen. Duo took decision to work for the Marathi Natyasangeet.
The live example of their dedication is 'Marathi Rangbhoomi' a company in Marathi fraternity which extensively worked for Marathi Natyasangeet and contributed a lot to keep the authenticity of Natyasangeet alive.
More than 50 musical dramas were created by Marathi Rangbhoomi, which was established on October 1, 1949. It started with 800 X 1000 stage made up of cloth. Later the success shaped the looks. Jaimala Shiledar played lead roles in Swayamwar, Maan Apmaan, Sharda Sanshaykallol, Vidyaharan, Subhadra, Kanhopatra, Premsanyas and Ekach Payala.
Overall she played 52 roles in 46 Marathi plays and composed music for 16 plays. After the sad demise of Jairam Shiledar, she established a trust Gandharva Bhushan Jairam Shiledar Sangeet Natya Seva Trust and continued working, which gave noted singers to Marathi fraternity.
Jaimala Shilder took special care to keep the tradition of Marathi Rangbhoomi alive and didn't allow her daughters Lata and Keerti to work in films but asked them to devote their careers for Marathi Rangbhoomi.
Till her last days she taught students and trained thousands of students during the past six decades. Sad demise of Jaimala Shilder is end of an era. She lived it, conserved it and promoted Marathi Natyasangeet till her last breath. An era ended but kept all the treasure for the next generation to carry forward with same dedication and proud.