What Vajubhai's Contemporaries Say..

In my 50-year career as teacher, Vajubhai is one of those handful of vibrant students who showered their love on me. He had a quest for truth and justice. He never cared for the consequences while fighting against injustice. He could take any amount of risk if it came to clinging to and fighting for truth. And this is what gave him the shining fame he so richly deserved, in such a short life.

   - Harbhai Trivedy, educationist

When Gandhiji started his Salt March way back in 1930, there was no way you could have restrained Vajubhai. Keen to join the Satyagrah, he asked for my consent. I said, 'how can I give you permission? You go if your father gives you ok'. I knew his father would not give him consent, as he was a minor. He went to Rajkot for permission and when his dad did not allow him, he straight went to Gandhiji's Sabarmati Ashram. Instead of sending him to the agitation, Kakasaheb Kalelkar held him back at Ashram in view of his tender age. But Vaju would not accept it. He fled from there also and reached Nanabhai Bhat's campt in Viramgham. What work could be allotted to him? At the venue of Satyagrah, getting beaten with batons and going to jail was a forgone conclusion. But fond of antics, Vaju was finally made the leader of Vanarsena.

   - Keshubhai Chandarana

Vajubhai's writing attracted his readers the way his flute-playing mesmerized music lovers. An original writer, Vajubhai never copied or competed with anyone. He never used sycophancy as a tool to increase circulation of his magazines, nor did his self-respect allow feelings of helplessness or defeat ever come near him.

   - Vijyagupta Maurya

The tinsel town is one world where you get to know a lot of people. I have come in touch with many people and among them Vajubhai Kotak stood out as a special individual. For the simple reason that even while telling a serious story, he would miss no opportunity to crack humour. Whenever I try to visualize his face, Vajubhai's smiling countenance flashes before my eyes.

   - Vijay Bhatt (Prakash Pictures)

Once, Vajubhai and I headed for the Jupiter Studio with our photography equipment. The film Samaj was being shot in the studio. Among the artists present were Ashok Kumar, director Vasant Joglekar and Gyan Mukherjee. Spotting Vajubhai, Ashok Kumar warmly welcomed him and asked him, 'Where are you? Not seen these days?' On seeing copies of Chitralekha, Jee, Beej in my hands, Ashok Kumar asked Vajubhai, 'brother, did you marry or not? Where is the girl from? Do you have any (children) or not?' Vajubhai said, 'she is from Bhavnagar, and we are still President and the Prime Minister' Ashok Kumar laughed heartily and then said, ' Brother, we also do work, (but spare time for friends), so keep in touch so that our old friendship remains fresh as ever.'

   - Punam Sheth (photographer)

His contribution towards promoting good activities, encouraging budding talents and guiding the film industry is quite significant.

   - Ratilal Shah

At a time when character and kindness are a rarity, the loss of a man like Vaju Kotak would create a void not only for his family, but for the entire society at large.

   - Gunvantrai Acharya

We had published in Akhand Anand Vajubhai's articles. I know of no other writer who could use humour and satire so effectively in Gujarati literature.

   - Manu Subedar (Donor and Social Worker)

I would not call him Vajubhai, for Vaju was like a brother to me. First he became my friend, then a journalist and then came close like a brother. He was a kind of brother who would pray for your success even when you are passing through a bad phase.

   - Sardar Chandulal Shah (Ranjit Studio)

His was not an ordinary pen. He had passions for knowledge, constant contemplation and study. It was his restlessness that ironically offered rest to his readers.

   - Jitubhai Mehta

I was very happy with his fearlessness and innocence. He lived his life on strength of his writing.

   - Chimanlal Va. Shah (Editor, Prajatantra)

Alone, with no capital, enterprising and truthful, this writer never cared for any doles or freebies from government or was ever depended on its advertisements, but wrote without fear or favour. His writing was full of his characteristic humour and satire.

   - Ramu Parmanand Thakker

Vajubhai was joy personified. A renowned philosopher had once said that the strong indication of wisdom is one's joyful nature. Vajubhai's nature and humour always reminded me of this statement.
In one sitting, he would discuss novel from start to finish. Even plays or stories had undergone restructuring during such sessions. Vajubhai always insisted on use of 'we' instead of 'I', as he always believed in making others partners in his achievements.

   - Harish Buch

When asked to write a novel for critics, he would flatly say he does not write for them. He writes for readers and would keep on writing as long as they accept him. He knew the pulse of the readers. I have never seen more popular scribe in film industry than him. He was a very hardworking journalist.

   - Pitambar Patel

Whoever has come in touch with him would vouch for the fact that his fragrance has won over one and all.

   - Mastaram Pandya (Bhavnagar)

Be it a serious subject or a light one, he had a knack to treat it the way it deserved. Having read him, I always felt that he could achieve his destination. I became a fan of his writing style.

   - Filmstar Motilal

A straightforward and simple person, always cheerful, frank and with an ability to tell the truth smilingly .

   - Art Director Kanu Desai

He was never greedy. He always believed in giving. He was a kind of person who would borrow to fulfill the needs of his friend, even if he did not have it.

   - Vrajlal Radia

He had created a revolution in the genre of novel writing. In his novels, he has even made lowly people his heroes. His writings have touched the common people.

   - Badri Kachwala

In a span of three years we got to gauge the immense knowledge he displayed during our frequent debates regarding the unfathomable mysteries of the world.

   - Raghunath Brahmbhatt

He was a 24X7 journalist and therefore he inculcated the same values in his wife and his children. He lived on his own terms without any fear, always engrossed in his own work.

   - Chaturbhuj Doshi

One of the most significant contributions of Vajubhai Kotak was to ensure that literature reaches the common people.

   - Poet Karsandas Manek

He was ever ready to help the budding writers and he even kept monitoring how they write and progress. He even got them published in Chitralekha. In fact, he was a pioneer in giving platform to new potential talents.

   - Jashwant Mehta

Vajubhai had resolved never to take ad support for Beej. This was an unprecedented step in that era.

   - Ratibhai Sheth (Janmbhoomi)

He was passionate about paintings and photography. He was very obedient when it came to honouring the commands of his elders, like an ideal student.

   - Ravishanker Rawal

His demise at such a young age was a great loss to me. I lost a great friend whose void can never filled. Though destiny was not generous in giving him adequate number of years to ive, Saraswati was quite liberal. She offered him everything and he demonstrated it in ample measure in such a short span

   - Dance Director Pravin Kumar