Nitin Desai Suicide: He Was In Deep Financial Morass
MUMBAI, (IANS) – Bollywood celebrities have been left in “shock” at the demise of renowned art director and production designer Nitin Chandrakant Desai, calling it “heartbreaking news”.
Desai was found hanging in a case of a suspected suicide at his N.D. Studios here, early on August 2. He was 57.
Desai won the National Film Award for Best Art Direction four times, and Filmfare Best Art Direction Award three times. In 2005, he opened his ND Studios in Karjat, near Mumbai, which has since hosted movies like ‘Jodha Akbar’, ‘Traffic Signal’ as also Color’s reality show ‘Big Boss’.
“Some of Nitin’s films: Salaam Bombay, 1942 A Love Story, Khamoshi, Kama Sutra, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Mission Kashmir, Lagaan, Devdas, The Legend Of Bhagat Singh, Munnabhai MBBS, Swades, Mangal Pandey, Slumdog Millionaire, Jodhaa Akbar..Now you know why he was a legend,” said Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri
Riteish Deshmukh, Parineeti Chopra, Neil Nitin Mukesh, filmmaker Suparn Verma, producer Anand Pandit, and Akshay Kumar were among those who reacted early. Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, Congress’s Nana Patole, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, many other leaders from different parties also mourned his death.
Desai was reeling under a financial crisis with accumulated debts of over Rs 250 crore and insolvency proceedings initiated against him only last week.
Independent MLA Mahesh Baldi in whose constituency Desai’s ‘ND Art World Pvt Ltd’ was sprawled over 52 acres, confirmed to media persons that the creative genius was bogged down with financial issues for the past four-five years, which may have triggered his suicide.
In 2016, Desai, his wife Naina, and their firm had availed a loan of Rs 150 crore from ECL Finance Ltd, and then in 2018, they took another Rs 31 crore, totaling Rs 181 crore.
Desai had cited the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, lack of shootings at the studio, and a major fire on the premises as among the reasons for the crises, but was optimistic of emerging from these soon, even as several of his political friends across parties attempted to boost his morale.