Dhiruben, full of enthusiasm, was not called ‘Eleventh Hour Writer’ for no reason. There are many such stories of his songs written overnight becoming a rage when people clenched their teeth. There is also one such ghazal which he wrote for the first time in his life for a Gujarati film on the demand of the producer! Short stories are fine, he had written a novel ‘Vansno Ankur’ (Bamboo shoots) in just five days. Speed, style and text seemed to come together in one rhythm at the tip of the pen in one stroke for him.
I can’t help but be amazed when I see the vastness of Dhiruben’s work and the space given by him in every work. She remained loyal to her readers and publisher and never compromised on her values and principles. Writing was also done after thinking carefully and on the voice of the inner voice, when the need was felt from within. When she stood firm for herself, she was also seen standing for others. Fought bravely, well and always remained ‘Ajatashatru’. Now that she has left us, we can talk about remembering, preserving, carrying forward her legacy. As for myself, I can still see him writing – whether it be writing a humorous novel about his journey to heaven, or correcting typos in Chitragupta’s account of his stay on earth. the sort of!
(Dr Khevana Desai’s article for Navjivan. Khevana teaches sociology at Mithibai College, Mumbai)