Even as entire Maharashtra mourns the loss of an iconic figure, very few know that the legendary Shiv Sena pramukh was born in Pune when his father Prabodhankar Thackeray was living in a rented house in Natu Wada on Barrister Gadgil Street.
The old Natu Wada (345 old Sadashiv Peth and 896 new Sadashiv Peth), now houses Sarthak Building which is owned by Ramesh Kuvar, a retired assistant regional transport officer (RTO). Kuvar has preserved the old photograph of the wada, which had a wooden structure when he bought it in 1985.
The small wada was purchased by Ramchandra Krushnaji Natu on July 6, 1892, from the Datar family. Vasant Ganesh Datar (86) informed DNA that his grandmother Sagunabai Datar sold the wada to Natu in 1892.
Datar now lives in the adjacent building, which comes under 344 old Sadashiv Peth and 895 new Sadashiv Peth.
Balasaheb Thackeray was born to Keshav Sitaram Thackrey, commonly known by his pen name Prabodhankar Thackeray, at Indirabai Khade maternity home on January 23, 1926.
The family lived in a ground-floor room at Natu Wada. After Prabodhan Press was closed down on court orders, Prabodhankar had to leave the city and go to Mumbai. Balasaheb was only about three years old when his family left Pune.
The house which was part of Natu Wada had the original wooden structure preserved even when the property changed hands a second time. Natu Wada was purchased by Govind Narhari Siddhanti on September 10, 1981. Kuvar purchased the Wada from Siddhanti in 1985 and the present Sarthak Building was built in 2004. Incidentally, he purchased the wada on January 23, Balasaheb’s birthday. Kuvar’s wife Sarla Ramesh Kuvar said, “As my son Anand’s birthday is on January 24, we wanted to sign the agreement on that day. But since it was a holiday in 1985, we did it on January 23.”
Marathi writer and educationalist NM Joshi said, “Balasaheb Thackeray released a book on late General Arunkumar Vaidya a few years ago. During this function, my friend DG Abhyankar insisted on meeting Thackeray and gave me a chit for him.”
Joshi recalls, “Damuanna Abhyankar had written on the piece of paper that he lived in the same house where Thackeray was born. After reading the chit, Balasaheb told me that his father lived in the same house when he was born in 1926.”
Kuvar confirmed the story that it was the same house on the ground floor that the Thackerays used to live, and that it was later occupied by the Abhyankars.