The world of arts and literature lost a significant figure with the passing of Gieve Patel at the Palliative Care and Training Centre in Pune. Gieve Patel, who had been battling cancer, was admitted to the Pune center a few weeks ago. He leaves behind a legacy of remarkable contributions as a playwright, poet, painter, and physician.
A Brief Biography
- Gieve Patel, born on 18 August 1940 in Mumbai, hailed from a family deeply rooted in the medical profession. His father was a dentist, and his mother was the daughter of a doctor.
- Patel’s early education took place at St. Xavier’s High School, and he went on to graduate from Grant Medical College in Mumbai.
- Following his medical education, Patel initially worked in a government job in his native village of Nargol in southern Gujarat. Subsequently, he served as a general practitioner in Mumbai until his retirement in 2005.
A Passion for the Environment
- Gieve Patel was not only a gifted artist and poet but also an advocate for the environment. He was part of a group of writers who committed themselves to the Green Movement, dedicated to environmental conservation.
- His poems reflected deep concerns for nature and the consequences of human cruelty towards it. Some of his notable poems include “How Do You Withstand” (1966), “Body” (1976), “Mirrored Mirroring” (1991), and “On Killing a Tree.”
A Versatile Playwright
- In addition to his poetic endeavors, Gieve Patel was a talented playwright. He authored three plays, each delving into various aspects of the human experience.
- His plays, “Princes” (1971), “Savaksa” (1982), and “Mr. Behram” (1987), offered unique insights into the complexities of human relationships and societal issues.
A Renowned Artist
- Patel’s artistic pursuits were not limited to the written word. He retired from his medical practice in 2005, after which he dedicated himself entirely to the world of art.
- He was celebrated for his contributions to contemporary art, with a focus on the intricacies and beauty of life. His paintings often depicted the social realities of his time, running parallel to the prominent painters of the Baroda School.
A Farewell to an Artistic Luminary
- Gieve Patel’s passing on 3 November 2023, at the age of 83, marks the end of an era. His contributions to the fields of literature, poetry, and art continue to be celebrated, leaving a lasting legacy that inspires aspiring artists and advocates for the environment.
- His work will live on through the pages of his poems, the strokes of his paintings, and the stories in his plays.