Noted Gujarati litterateur Bakulbhai Bakshi passed away in Ahmedabad on June 13 after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 76. Bakshi, who retired as Chief Commissioner of Customs and Vice-Chairman of the Settlement Commission, was known for the satirical style of his writings, which included books on different subjects as well as a number of highly popular newspaper columns.
Born in 1941 at Kolkata in the Palanpuri Jain family of Chanchalben and Keshavlal Bakshi, he was one of three brothers who excelled in the field of literature. His elder brothers, Laxmikumar and Chandrakant were also acclaimed writers, with the latter also being appointed to the prestigious post of Sheriff of Mumbai.
Bakulbhai spent his early life in Kolkata and on completing his B.Com and successfully clearing the IAS examinations, joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1965. After a distinguished career of nearly 38 years in which he won a lot of acclaim, Bakulbhai retired as Chief Commissioner of Customs in Mumbai and Vice-Chairman of the Settlement Commission, the first from the Gujarati community to have held this eminent post.
Among the highlights of his career in the Customs was winning the President’s Medal in 1997. He was also the only Indian member of the UN’s World Trade Regulation Council and played a key role in the framing of the Gold Import Policy, 1993. Bakulbhai also represented India three times at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Post-retirement, Bakulbhai followed in the footsteps of his literary siblings and became a prolific writer well known both for his satirical style as well as serious writings, as well as a motivational speaker who gave inspiring talks about time management and other topics.
Bakulbhai authored over 160 books in Gujarati including fiction, as well as on a number of other serious issues. These included books such as Shabdon na Virasat, Bhasha Paschimi Shabdo Purvana, Shabdo ni Sonography, Culture Funda, Autograph, Market Funda, Anjuman, Majlis, Tasveer, 1857, Padav, Sarigam, Raj Darbar, Sanskar Gatha, Pratibimb, Sargam, Ragatit, Anek Rang, Awsar, Ba-Adab, Raag Awat, Mona Lisa, etc.
His other popular writings were the regular columns published in several Gujarati newspapers and magazines over the last few decades including the extremely popular Navee Najare that initially appeared in Gujarat Samachar and later in Divya Bhaskar as well as writings for Chitralekha, Janmabhoomi Pravasi and other publications.
Bakulbhai was closely involeved with Vidyamandir Trust, Palanpur having served on its’ Board as a Permanent Invitee.
Bakulbhai is survived by his wife Mayaben and his daughter Nishita.
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