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Father Valles, who made Ahmedabad his home, passes away in Spain at 95

By Our Representative

Father Carlos Valles, SJ, who came to India in 1949 and made Gujarat his home, passed away on November 9 morning in Madrid, Spain. Born in Logrono on November 4, 1925, Fr Valles, wrote over 78 books containing his essays dealing with life and how to live it, including 14 in Gujarati, including “Sadachar”, “Vyakti Ghadtar”, “Lagnasagar”, “Gandhiji ne Navi Pedhi”, “Parvotsav”, “Murli”, “Atmkathana Tukda” and “Shabdlok”.
One who is known to have contributed a new style of writing in Gujarati using short sentences and a conversational style, rest of the books by Fr Valles are in English (24 books) and Spanish (42 books). Some of his books have been translated into other European languages and Chinese as well.
In 1999 Fr Vales created his own website so as to reach out to the youth of today. From 1960 to 1982 he taught mathematics at St Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad. During ten of those twenty-two years, he lived in the by-lanes of the walled city among various middle class families as their guest.
One who won accolades from outstanding literary figure Umashankar Joshi for his style of writing, Fr Vales won him several awards for what he wrote – the Kumar Gold Medal, the Ranjitram Gold Medal, the Saccidananand Appreciation Award, etc. He became an Indian citizen. “Gujarat will always be indebted to Fr Valles for his contribution to literature and upholding our culture”, says Fr Alpesh Macwan, who knew him intimately.
Son of an engineer, who built a large dam in Spain, Ortigosa de Cameros, Fr Valles, lost his father when he was 10. Six months after this, his family lost all that it had during the civil war which broke out in Spain between 1936 and 1939. Thereafter, while his mother mother took refuge in a city where the Jesuits had just opened a school, he and his brother got scholarships to study in the school and stay at the boarding.
At 15, Fr Valles he wrote his first book "The Art of Choosing", where he reflected on the turning point of his life. He said, it was his “first spiritual detachment, leaving the family for Christ, which constituted the religious vocation”. Asked to be “sent to the East”, he was given the task of planning St Xavier's College in Ahmedabad. He learned Gujarati, perfecting the language at the Vallabh Vidyanagar University in Central Gujarat.
Fr Valler wrote a weekly column in in the Sunday supplement of “Gujarat Samachar”, addressed to “the new generation", whose articles were converted into his books. He wrote a whole series of mathematical textbooks in Gujarati with his colleagues as well.

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