Renown Gujarati author Kundanika Kapadia passes away at 93

Valsad: Renown Gujarati author Kundanika Kapadia (Ishama) passed away early in the morning today at her Nandigram ashram near Valsad in South Gujarat. She was 93.

Born on 11 January 1927 at Limbdi (now in Surendranagar district, Gujarat) to Narottamdas Kapadia, Kundanikaben completed her primary and secondary education from Godhra. She has participated in Quit India Movement in 1942. In 1948, she completed BA in History and Politics from Samaldas College, Bhavnagar affiliated with University of Bombay. She joined MA in Entire Politics from Mumbai School of Economics but could not appear in examinations. She married Gujarati poet Makrand Dave in Mumbai in 1968. She co-founded Nadigram, an ashram near Vankal village near Valsad, with him in 1985. She is known as Ishama by her Nandigram fellows. She edited Yatrik (1955-1957) and Navneet (1962-1980).

Snehdhan is her pen name. Parodh Thata Pahela (1968) is her first novel followed by Agnipipasa (1972). She wrote Sat Pagala Akashma (Seven Steps in the Sky, 1984) which won her critical acclaim and considered as her best novel.

Her book Param Samipe is very popular.

Her first story is Premna Ansu which won her second prize in international story competition organised by Janmabhoomi newspaper. She started writing more stories thereafter. Premna Ansu (1954) is published as her story collection. Her other story collections are Vadhu ne Vadhu Sundar (1968), Kagalni Hodi (1978), Java Daishu Tamane (1983) and Manushya Thavu (1990). Her stories explore philosophy, music and nature. Her selected stories are published as Kundanika Kapadia ni Shreshth Vartao (1987). She is influenced by Dhumketu, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore, Shakespeare and Ebson.

Dwar ane Deewal (1987) and Chandra Tara Vriksh Vadal (1988) are her essay collections. Akrand ane Akrosh (1993) is her biographical work. She edited Param Samipe (1982), Zarukhe Diva (2001) and Gulal ane Gunjar. Param Samipe is her popular prayer collection.

She translated Laura Ingalls Wilder’s work as Vasant Avshe (1962). She translated Mary Ellen Chase’s A Goodly Fellowship as Dilbhar Maitri (1963) and Bengali writer Rani Chand’s travelogue as Purnakumbh (1977). Her other works of translation are Purusharthne Pagale (1961), Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life and How to Play It as Jeevan Ek Khel (1981), Eileen Caddy’s Opening The Door Within as Ughadata Dwar Anantna and Swami Rama’s Living with the Himalayan Masters as Himalayana Siddha Yogi (1984).