Saturday, 9 January 2021

The Sunil I knew and will miss - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

With the passing away on the morning of December 27, 2020 of Dr. Sunil Kothari, World Dance lost one who was unarguably its most visible and passionately friendly supporter, who, over a long career spread over sixty years, seemed to overwhelm the dance scene like a 'sarva vyapi' registering his presence in every dance event in any part of the country and even abroad. 87 years old (December 1933-2020) when post Covid complications snatched him away, leaving many desolate, Sunil Kothari's hectic life comprised peripatetic travelling, jet setting across the world experiencing dance events - the unabated wanderlust even during his last few years, based in Delhi, seeing him travelling 27 to 28 days of every month - with the winter months, with advancing years, spent mostly in the south! "If I am in the same place for over a week, the soles of my feet start itching badly, with impatience," he always maintained. A bachelor whose place of stay never saw a permanently run kitchen ("footloose and fancy-free with no permanent ties to chain me to any place") he remained all his life eating out or the guest dropping in for a meal. As a world traveller, the laptop, perennial phone (an everlasting addiction, misplaced, lost and replaced countless times), a carry-on with some'jubbas' and his excellently tailored black achkan sported on all formal occasions, were the hallmark of Sunil - the ever ready, eternally roving critic.

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  1. A wonderful tribute to a dear friend .Compliments to Leelaji for this evocative piece.I am sure Sunilji would have loved it!!! Satish Suri

  2. What a tribute Leela ji,,Wow!! I am sure Sunil bhai never ever could imagine that he was so thoroughly understood by his colleague and friend. Compliments.

  3. Dear Leelaji,
    What a fitting tribute and recollection of Sunilji, written with humour, honesty and praise. Sujatha Srinivasan

  4. What a perspicacious honest piece written without a hint of malice, but with a great deal of fond compassion. Kudos Leelaji

  5. Thank you for this sharing. It is beautifully written and perspicuous.