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« Old Delhi - A city that never gets old | Main | Welcoming the new year - With Hiroko Shimbo, Sally Longo, Buzz, Charlie and Memories Of Loved Ones »

Sunday, January 03, 2010

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Mary Ann Joulwan

In the late 90s I had the pleasure of meeting
Chaman Lal Bhardwaj for the first time and in of
all places - my own living room! How it happened
was that his son, Sushil, had invited his parents,
Chaman and Shanti, who were visiting, out to
dinner in Manhattan along with his wife Rita and
their children Anuj, Arti and Meera and his nephew, Suvir.

I'm not sure how or why I was included but I was very happy about it and decided to invite the whole gang to my place for drinks before
setting out to dinner. And it was magical - this
wonderful and attractive group of adults and
children filling my apartment with lively conversation and laughter. I didn't know who to
look at first or who to talk to first.

But one thing was clear (which I felt in my heart)
and that was the love and respect I observed between this elegant, educated man, Chaman and his diminutive and beautiful wife, Shanti. It
was something that I would want for myself.

Later, in conversation with the nattily dressed
Chaman, I was introduced to the broad and varied range of his intellect - from international
politics and his days in Beirut down to the fact
that he admired Kristi Yamaguchi as a figure
skater. Really!

Will I ever forget this man? How could I.

Sally

That is a lovely story, Mary Ann. I did not have the privilege of meeting him, but seeing the love he inspired in his grandson tells me that he was one of a kind. Suvir showed us photos and spoke for a long time about the amazing life of this dignified man. Chaman was truly a part of India's rich history and he will be missed by so many.

Deborah

I had the unique pleasure of meeting Nana and staying with him at the Saran family home last December during a 2 week visit to Delhi.

He was without doubt a highlight to my 3 month world trip.

A fine gentleman with the sharpest mind and truest wit, he didn't miss a trick.

I will always remember Nana. What a spirit to India and the world at large. I shall think of him fondly and feel so blessed to have known him for a brief but precious moment.

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