Bapaji....The Fragrance Linger on....
Members of the Kothari family with Arunbhai Mehta
and Vasantbhai Parikh at the book launch
A book on Shri Shantibhai Nanchand Kothari - Bapaji as he was fondly called, was released at a function organized by the Kothari Family at Birla Krida Kendra, Chowpatty, Mumbai on June 19, 2012. The function was attended by a large gathering of Bapaji’s fans, relatives and others. Arunbhai R. Mehta was the Guest of Honour, and the function was superbly compeered by Bobby Kothari.
The book, Bapaji — the Fragrance Lingers On…., has been compiled by Vasantbhai A Parikh with the aim of immortalising Bapaji’s memory, particularly in his birth century year i.e. 2012. It is a collection of the reminiscences and sentiments of Bapaji’s family, friends and many others who have experienced the sweetness of his affection, all of which have been gathered and bound into words so that the memories may be immortalized for eternity and future generations may take a page from his life and imbibe it in their own.
The function started with a recital of the Navkar Mantra by Smt. Chandraben Kothari. Thereafter Atulbhai Kothari gave a warm welcome speech.
During the programme, six speakers shared their experiences of Bapaji. The first to speak was Sureshbhai Mehta who remembered Bapaji as a man who always remained in bliss. One incident he shared with the audience was when Bapaji had gone for lunch to a relative’s house and was served a humble meal. He thoroughly enjoyed even a humble meal, reflecting his personality of remaining in bliss.
Next was Ajitbhai Shah who tutored Bapaji’s grandson in 1974. He shared with the audience how much he learnt from Bapaji and the ‘Sanskars’ that he imbibed from his regular meetings with him.
Thereafter Padamshri Dr Prakash Kothari took the dais and remembered Bapaji as one who gave respect to everyone no matter who the person was. Dr. Kothari was 7 years when he remembers Bapaji calling him ‘tame’. No one had given this kind of respect at that age. Thereafter he ended his speech with a shayari on Bapaji – “Tumhe gaye kitna waqt ho gaya, lekin ab bhi tumhe gale lagaye baithe hai”
Vasantbhai Parikh spoke next on Bapaji’s generous nature and his extraordinary knack of not letting the other person feel small while helping him. He shared a few instances that he has narrated in the book. He also announced a donation of Rs. 11 lakh to Shri Shantilal Nanchand Kothari Charitable Trust for educational scholarships as his humble attempt to give back to the society what he got from Bapaji.
Thereafter Bapaji’s son Piyushbhai Kothari recited a beautiful poem on Bapaji describing all his qualities and virtues. In order to follow his father’s footsteps in social service, he announced a donation of Rs. 1 crore from his family trust, Jewelex Foundation. This donation is given to Mahajan Hospital, Palanpur to start a dialysis centre in a new to-be constructed building of 18000 square feet. In Banaskatha, the number of dialysis patients are increasing day by day and there is no good dialysis centre in the whole district. With this donation 8 to 10 new machines will be installed and the centre will be in a position to carry out 800 to 1000 dialysis in a month. This dialysis centre will tremendously help kidney patients in the Banaskatha area.
Dineshbhai T. Shah, Chairman of Asian Star company also spoke on Bapaji’s wonderful “sanskars” and how he imbibed them in all his children and grandchildren. Thereafter Arunbhai Mehta, Chairman of Rosy Blue Group was invited along with Bapaji’s children, Pravinbhai, Piyushbhai, Anilaben and Atulbhai along with Vasant Parikh to light the diya and release the book - “Bapaji— the fragrance lingers on…”
After releasing the book, Arunbhai read a few excerpts which he particularly enjoyed reading and also spoke about the generous qualities of Bapaji’s life. He also announced a corpus donation of Rs. 11 lakh to Shantilal Nanchand Kothari Charitable Trust. Then Nilesh Pravinbhai Kothari thanked and felicitated Vasantbhai Parikh for his idea and execution and Himani Kothari for taking interviews of the people who knew Bapaji well and writing the book. He also thanked the audience for remaining present to grace this special occasion.
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