(Last Updated on : 29-01-2009)
Gobind Mathi was a Sindhi fictionist, essayist, and dramatist-director. This eminent Gujrati theatre personality was the person who resurrected Sindhi theatre in India with missionary zeal. Born in 1921, he was attracted by Marxian thought. Gobind Mathi was drawn toward progressive literature and turned out to be the forerunner of this movement in Sindhi literature. His huge output includes twenty-four novels, forty-one plays, forty short stories, and a host of articles on myriad subjects. This Gujrati theatre personality Gobind Mathi, has directed over fifty productions altogether. After Independence, Malhi migrated to Bombay. During the years 1953-8, he was associated with the Indian People's Theatre Association or IPTA, occupying important positions in the organization. Here he came in direct contact with leading artists like Ritwik Ghatak, R. M. Singh, A. K. Hangal, and Sanjeev Kumar. IPTA staged his Mitsafiron ke liye i.e. 'For Travellers' in 1958. That was a Hindi adaptation of Gorky's Lower Depths. Gobind Mathi, the Gujrati theatre personality co-founded the Sindhi Kalakar Mandal in 1958.
Within a period of three years after launching the Mandal, Gobind Mathi wrote and directed twenty-six plays. By 1961, he seemed tired, also disappointed owing to the fact that Sindhi audiences preferred full-length drama to short plays. His incapability of meeting their demands kept him away from theatre. In the same year Gobind Mathi, the Gujrati theatre personality made the Mandal a vehicle for spreading vocal culture and gave only Sindhi musical programmes in India and abroad.
Performances of Gobind Mathi's plays have not been restricted to Bombay; he staged them wherever Sindhis had settled in good numbers. All India Radio has aired virtually all. Mathi is a cult figure in the Sindhi one-act drama of social realism written in simple, colloquial language. Tunhinjo so munhinjo i.e. 'Yours Is Also Mine' in 1964 was on the Chinese aggression against India, and the experimental two-character Juhuaje kinare i.e. 'On the Shores of Juhu' in 1965 on suicide. In 1965, Gobind Mathi, the talented Gujarat theatre personality filmed Sindhuaje kinare i.e. 'On the Shores of the Indus'. This was based on his play of the same title. After the death in 1986 of Bhagwanti Navani, the Mandal's mainstay, Mathi retired to the suburbs of Bombay, occasionally writing for local magazines and newspapers.