T.B. SHETH LIBRARY AND GUJARATI LITERATURE
<<The various characters such as Miya Fuski, Tabha Bhatt, Hassanchacha and Shaikhchalli were well known and often got a mention n normal conversation to illustrate a point….There is of course far greater choice and up to date ref. material available at the National Library as well as British Council..You will be interested to know that CD Patel was our PE/Sports teacher.>>
That was splendid. I admire your knowledge of Gujarati literature. Reading your post, the past came flooding back - Hassanchacha, Shaikhchalli, Murkhani Meeting, Patangiani Vato, Sharamsuwas etc. My favourite Saif Palanpuri serial was ‘Parpota’. I’ve read a few of those Shaida(Rajab Shaida) books such as ‘Ma te ma’, ‘Andhari raat’, ‘Amina’ and Salima ne ek raat’. My mother was an avid reader and had a good collection of Shaida books.
Definitely the Africans would prefer Tanganyika library or British Council to T.B.Sheth library. The library too provides Kiswahili newspapers but overall it caters for Indian taste. Those students who go there to study are mostly drawn to it for its spaciousness and tranquility.
Indeed C.D.Patel was a very good cricketer. He was a great disciplinarian. It is understood that on the eve of matches he conducted rounds of inspection along AT, Naaz and Odeon, and packed off to their homes those players who were found loitering around there. Remember Isherwood Tournament? The competition generated tremendous anxiety, and in particular the rivalry between Azania and Agakhan School was fierce. Cricket thrived then. Even the league and knockout matches contested on communal level were highly competitive and drew large crowds.
Talking of doing Arithmetic in Gujarati, it is typical of us. At least we can read and write Gujarati but I know of certain Zanzibaris who do not know a word of Gujarati but do their Arithmetic in Gujarati, and that too rhythmic Gujarati (panch choku vis, pachu pachu pachis..). As for ‘oothbes’, ‘nichonam’ and caning, it has given us a moral build up. Those were the days. Dsm has undergone drastic transformation in the last two decades. The Dsm that you’d been acquainted with has not only changed in appearance but even otherwise; customarily its past orderliness and warmth is consigned into oblivion. The development, modernity and sophistication have bred materialistic tendencies. Unlike the past we are in a different world altogether. Under circumstances the Indian character that T.B.Sheth library retains must be commended.