To commemorate the birth centenary of his father, Late Dr Kantilal L. Kothari in August 2015, his son Dr Nayan K. Kothari has published an elegant coffee table book depicting the life and personalities of his parents, Dr Kantilal Laxmichand Kothary and Prabhavati Kantilal Gandhi – Kothari, or Bai, as well as their immediate families. The book is well presented with lots of rare and historic photos taken at Palanpur and other places.
However, what appears to have begun as a personal tribute to two individuals also provides interesting insights into the life and culture of the families who lived in Palanpur in the first half of the 20th century into addition to a very concise, yet perceptive profile of twovery different persons who each contributed in their unique way to shape the destiny of a family that is now spread out across different corners of the globe.
In his introduction, Dr Kothari writes, “I decided to write about them to memorialise them and only during the research for the book, I realised there were a few strands which connected our family.” He identifies two of these as Jainism and love for education and traces the role of both Kantibhai and Bai in inculcating these common strands in each member of the family.
He points out how, though most of the family members do not seem to have deep religious convictions, they have all exhibited the fundamental tenet of the religion, Ahimsa, through their Achar and Vichar. Similarly, he points out that the family is spread over three continents and all have pursued learning in a variety of fields.
The personalised narrative includes brief life sketches of Dr Nayan’s paternal and maternal grandparents, and the siblings of his parents. It also gives brief but extremely vivid snapshots of their life as children in the family house in Palanpur – the building, the cuisine, the festivals, annual holidays, healthcare, sports and education as well as a short protrait of Bhema, the house manager who was virtually a part of the family.
It is a perfect tribute to a unique couple and portrays the life of the multi-faceted personality of Dr Kantilal Kothary in all its aspects.
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