A stream of visitors on Thursday arrived at acclaimed art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai’s studio in Maharashtra’s Raigad district only to return dejected after learning about his death.
Desai, who would have turned 58 on August 9, was found dead on the sprawling premises on Wednesday morning, leaving family, friends and people from the entertainment industry shocked.
N D Studios, also known as ND’s Film World, was founded by Desai in Karjat in 2005. It is spread over nearly 50 acres and has a Bollywood theme park.
Hundreds of tourists visit the studio every day to have a look at the grand sets, with replicas of many historical monuments, of Bollywood blockbusters, said a local resident. They would either buy tickets at the counter or online, he said.
Inside the studio, people and their families would spend hours on the magnificent sets of popular films like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Bajirao Mastani and Jodha Akbar, he said.
Desai was found dead on the centre stage, where the set of the talent show ‘Marathi Paul Padte Pudhe’ was also created, an eyewitness told reporters earlier.
Unaware of the art director’s death, several visitors turned up at the studio on Thursday. However, they had to return with a heavy heart.
The studio has been closed since Wednesday morning. Several cops have been deployed at the entrance as the probe team of the Raigad police is at the spot for investigation.
Kishore Kalangade and his family from Shirdi were among many visitors who arrived on Thursday to see Desai’s creations.
“I came here to visit the studio with my family members but found it closed due to the incident,” said Kalangade, whose family had come in a car.
Another visitor said he was shocked to learn about the death of the award-winning art director and production designer.
“The security guards and police said the studio was closed and told us to go back,” he said.
The traffic police were also engaged to clear the road in front of ND Studios.
Desai’s company ND’s Art World Pvt Ltd had defaulted on a Rs 252-crore loan to its financial creditor, according to an insolvency petition filed in a bankruptcy court last week.