6th October, is the birthday of Dashrath Patel, whom I would like to call as the Father of Indian Design, a man who never got the recognition he deserved. He was a designer, sculptor, painter, photographer, the founder director of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and he led the institution for twenty years. He resigned from NID after he was awarded the Padma Shri and went on to work with the craftsmen in the village of Sewapuri near Varanasi. I met him first in 1984 and accompanied him during that trip to Kerala visiting many old buildings. Our association continued for a very long time. I never worked under him, but learnt lot of things from him. I was very happy to do the Chandramandala as a memorial to the famous dancer Chandralekha for the Spaces Trust for which Dashrath was a trustee. He had a heart attack and passed away in 2010. During his illness, he used to tell me that Muziris visit will be the first visit once he starts travelling again.
I was with Sadanand Menon the other day, his close friend and fellow trustee and we were talking about Dashrath. I was suggesting of an exhibition to be done in Chennai on Dashrath’s works.