A throwback photo of Nitin Desai. (courtesy: NeilNMukesh)
Film personalities such as Riteish Deshmukh, Siddhartha Basu, and Neil Nitin Mukesh on Wednesday paid tributes to renowned art director Nitin Desai, calling him a "genius" and a "positive soul". Nitin Desai, a four-time National Award winner, was found hanging on Wednesday at his studio in Maharashtra's Raigad district neighbouring Mumbai, a senior police official said. Prima facie, it seems to be a case of suicide, the official said, adding they are investigating the case from all angles.
Siddhartha Basu, who worked with Desai on popular reality shows such as Kaun Banega Crorepati and Dus Ka Dum, said he was shocked to hear about the death of his "friend and artistic collaborator."
"He made sets for so many of our shows - KBC, Kamzor Kadi, Heartbeat, Bluffmaster, Dus ka Dum, Sach ka Saamna.. Conjuring world class installations on an industrial scale. Om shanti," Basu wrote on Twitter.
Nitin Desai was known for his art work in films such as Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. In his career spanning over 30 years, Desai closely worked with directors like Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rajkumar Hirani, and Ashutosh Gowariker.
Neil said it is difficult to accept the heartbreaking news of Desai's death. The late art director worked on Jail, the 2009 film starring the actor.
"Our beloved Nitin Desai has left for his heavenly abode. He was simply a genius. A visionary artist with grace, style who understood not just his craft but people. He was a positive soul who spread only love to all. My God give his family strength. Om Shanti," he wrote on the microblogging site. Actor Riteish Deshmukh remembered Desai as a soft-spoken visionary.
"Deeply shocked to know that Nitin Desai, a legendary Production Designer who has contributed immensely to the growth of Indian cinema in no more.
"My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. I had known him for years.. soft spoken, humble, ambitious and a visionary... you will be missed my friend. Om Shanti (sic)," Riteish Deshmukh tweeted.
"The news of Nitin Desai's demise is devastating", said filmmaker Sanjay Gupta. "I can't believe this news. Nitin Desai was the best at what he did. We worked on a few films together. Always smiling, always making life easier on set. This news is devastating. Rest In Peace my friend. You will always be missed," Sanjay Gupta tweeted.
Actor Parineeti Chopra said she was "heartbroken" to hear about Desai's passing. "His groundbreaking work, wisdom and artistry will be remembered forever. Rest in peace sir," she wrote.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)