Mr. Doshi

Mahendra K. Doshi is a writer, journalist and historian from San Jose, California. Originally hailing from Vadia, Gujarat, Mahendra’s family moved to Calcutta, West Bengal, where he studied and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Presidency College and a Master’s Degree from University of Calcutta.

He decided to further his studies, arriving in the United States in 1967 with no scholarship or sponsor and with only the proverbial eight dollars in his pocket, and he worked his way to earn a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno. Mahendra later moved to New York, where he lived in Flushing, Queens, and wrote for various newspapers like the India Abroad, Trans India and India Times in the 1970s.

Mahendra moved to California in 1977 where he was involved in the blossoming Indian community, later serving as President of the Indian Cultural Association of the Bay Area. One of his community achievements was co-founding the Miss India California Beauty Pageant in the Bay Area and organizing the first ever pageants in San Jose. He also collaborated on and published two books – Who’s Who Among Indians in the U.S.A. in 1978 and Who’s Who Among Indians in the Western United States in 1981.

Retiring in 2013, Mahendra has since been actively working on his latest venture, Surat to San Francisco: How the Patels from Gujarat Established the Hotel Business in California 1942-1960. This is one of his proudest accomplishments – to bring out from marginalization the stories of a humble community of Patel risk-takers and avant-gardists and their origins in the hospitality business. He spent eight years researching the Patel hotel history, interviewing over 150 Patels. He is proud to narrate the thus-far untold stories of the founding fathers of the Patel hospitality business. The project has been an inspiration for him as it has connected his two interests: meeting people and writing.

Outside of his writing, Mahendra loves sports, politics and spending time with friends and family. His favorite foods are Chinese and Indian and he enjoys talking about the current state of worldly affairs with everyone he meets. He and wife Bhairavi have two children and two grandchildren.