Mumbai through the eyes of a city icon

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and (left) Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde at the book launch.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and (left) Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde at the book launch.  

Book of experiences narrated by hotelier Kulwant Singh Kohli released in Marathi

The line ‘Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan’, from a popular yesteryear song, brings out the highs and lows of life in this bustling city.

A book by the same name (with ‘Bombay’ replaced by the contemporary Mumbai) outlines the experience of living in the city, through the eyes of one of the city’s icons, the late hotelier Kulwant Singh Kohli.

‘Keeping spirit alive’

Academic and writer Nitin Arekar has put together experiences narrated by Kohli, who started the Pritam Group of Hotels, in Marathi. The book was released at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Colaba on Thursday. “Kohli was not only a businessman but a great philanthropist too. The Kohli sons, who still run the chain of hotels, have kept the spirit of their father alive,” said Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Sadanand Borse of Rajhans Prakashans, which published the book, said even though he did not belong to Mumbai, he knew that one has to eat at Pritam’s in Dadar when one comes to the city. Mr. Borse said, “Papaji [as Kohli was affectionately called] used to read newspapers with us. He was a living example of the proverb, ‘A way to someone’s heart is through their stomach’.”

Kohli’s son, Amardeep Singh Kohli, spoke fondly about his father’s ability to get along with everyone and yet stay grounded. Mr. Kohli said, “He had friends like [actor] Dharmendra, [former prime minister] Atal Bihari Vajpayee and [actor] Jeetendra. He was a great father. We had no idea he was such a good narrator. They do not make men like him any more.”

Veteran journalist Girish Kuber termed the book ‘a true reflection of India’, where a Marathi book has been made possible by a Sikh who came to Mumbai and made the city his home.

‘My own family’

Senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde recollected meeting Kohli while he was in the Tourism Ministry at a get-together as well as during the evenings he spent with Kohli. “His family is my family. I thank the Kohli family with all my heart and request them to launch the book in English and Hindi as well,” Mr. Shinde said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:01:35 AM |

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