The present generation might not be utterly familiar with the name Vijayendra Ghatge, but someone who has lived through the ’80s and ’90s should be accustomed to his familiar face perpetually appearing in Hindi cinema and TV serials. Today, a very little is known about his whereabouts, and this is an attempt to reach out to anyone who is aware of his current dwelling.
Virendra Ghatge was born in a royal family of Kagal, and his royal lineage is also connected to the royal families of Indore and Kohlapur. He is an alumnus of India’s premier film school Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
Ghatge started his career with Basu Chatterjee’s superhit film Chitchor alongside Amol Palekar and Zarina Wahab. Although IMDB lists the 1975 Shatrughan Sinha starrer film Anokha as his first film. Since then he has starred in a plethora of Hindi films in a career spanning over four decades.
He has worked in notable films like Kasme Vaade, Prem Rog, Satte Pe Satta, Veerana, Shahenshah, Tridev, Khel, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas to name a few. He became a household name after his roles in the profoundly acclaimed Doordarshan serials such as Buniyad, Talaash, and Junoon. His last acting role was in the 2011 film Aazaan. It has been almost a decade that he hasn’t appeared in films or television.
A very little is known about his contemporary circumstances, neither there is any trace of him on the internet. His last public appearance can be spotted at an event organized by Bharat Maa Shaheed Samman Trust sometime in 2017 where he can be seen addressing the press. He seemed pretty dignified, and his absence from the acting profession didn’t seem to exhibit on his personality, which is usually the case for most of the actors who have faded into unknown oblivion. However, after reading quite a few articles about the event, there is no mention of his name in the listing of invitees.
He came to limelight when he was publicly misidentified as the father Chak De India fame actress and wife of Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan – Sagarika Ghatge. The rumour was falsely promulgated on several news portals that led to the confusion. Sagarika made a public statement to clear the confusion stating – she is not the daughter of actor Virendra Ghatge, although they are distantly related.
Virendra Ghatge is not the first actor whose contemporary existence is a mystery, and God forbid that he doesn’t get succumbed into it. In the recent past, we have come across a lot of yesteryear actors like the recently demised Mahesh Anand and others who fought a losing battle of finding their identity in the industry and eventually perishing to the unfortunate grip of death.
Ghatge’s royal lineage might be a reassuring factor, but his absence is duly noticed in film and television. I sincerely hope that wherever he is, whatever he is contemplating these days – I wish that he is doing good and would like to witness him more on both big and small screen. After all, we have a scarcity of good and talented actors in the film industry.