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“Our entire big Gujarati Family migrated out of India”

“Our entire big Gujarati Family migrated out of India”
The Patel Family, Surat, Gujarat. 1978

The Patel Family, Surat, Gujarat. 1978 Image and Narrative contributed by Mitul Patel, Texas, USA This picture was taken at a fair in Surat, Gujrat.  It was supposed to be only a close family photograph, however, some of our family friends' and their families joined in and this picture was clicked. I remember it used to be one of the only places where families, who couldn't afford a camera could get a picture taken. Most of these people you see in the Photograph, all of whom are of the last name 'Patel', migrated to USA and New Zealand, including my family. I was around three or four years old in the picture (top left, as a baby). Almost all of the Patels in the picture  now own and run businesses like Pizza Parlours, Liquor Stores, Motels, Hotels or work in the IT industry. My parents and I too live in Rockdale, Texas, USA and run a hotel called Rockdale Inn.

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An art directed image of close friends

An art directed image of close friends
My mother Chandan Patel (middle), with her friends, one of whom is Manixi Bhakta (right), Calcutta, West Bengal. 1970

My mother Chandan Patel (middle), with her friends, one of whom is Manixi Bhakta (right), Calcutta, West Bengal. 1970 Image and Narrative contributed by Mitul Patel, Texas, USA This picture was taken on a school trip to Calcutta in 1970. My mother Chandan Patel's best friend Manixi (right) suffered cancer and passed away in Memphis a few years ago. My father, mother and I now live in Rockdale, Texas. We now run and own a hotel, Best Western - Rockdale Inn. My mother is the Vice President, my father, Jawahar Patel is the CEO, and I am Director of Operations.

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The Professor who founded the Surat University

The Professor who founded the Surat University
My maternal Grandparents, Surat, Gujarat, 1925

My maternal Grandparents, Surat, Gujarat, 1925 "My Grandfather was a very progressive man. Though he married my grandmother very young, 17 or 18 I think, he decided not to have children until she was in her 20s. He understood that she was too young to have kids so early. He was a Chemistry professor in Surat. After being trained in Manchester,  he and 2 other professors joined hands and found the Surat University. The watch that my grandmother proudly wears in this photograph, was a gift bought for her in Manchester."

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