In remembrance – Kekoo Gandhy

by Manisha Gera Baswani

There are days in ones’ lives that stay etched in our hearts.

One such day for me was an afternoon I spent with Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy at their historic home in Bandra.

It was here that Kekoo was born, had taken his first steps into the world, grown into a dashing young man and brought his beautiful Khorshed home as a bride .

Together they had dreamt to build a space for the arts. And build they did.

An institution called ‘CHEMOULD’.

A legacy that his daughter and my dear friend Shireen carries forward with much grace.

I had made umpteen trips to Kekee Manzil in the past.

Every time I had gone to the Gandhy abode, I would meet Kekoo and Khorshed, sit with them and absorb all I could in those short meetings.

Age, experience and wisdom has a quiet energy that can impart so much by its sheer presence.

Besides painting, I have been capturing artists and the art fraternity through my lens in their intimate spaces, now for nine years. However, It was last year that I realized that I had never documented any of my special afternoons spent with them, through my lens.

I questioned myself and could only come to one conclusion…..’institutions never die’.

I guess I felt the same about Kekoo.

For me, he was ALWAYS there when I went to Kekee Manzil.

Last year I decided to take a flight to Mumbai just to spend an afternoon with Kekoo and Khorshed. This time I took my camera.

This photo-essay captures some of those special moments .

Kekoo in his myriad moods.

I even followed him to his room where he decided to go for a quick nap.

As he lay sleeping , enveloped in the red blanket with soft afternoon light streaming through the trellised window, a surge of emotions swept through me ….

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Manisha Gera Baswani is a painter/photographer based in New Delhi. She has been photographing fellow artists and those from the art fraternity , in their creative spaces for almost a decade now. Her project ‘artists through the lens’ was shown by Devi Foundation at the 2012 India Art Fair. Manisha has also been instrumental in co-starting a creative collective in New Delhi called ‘Manthan’ ( ). Manthan focuses on bringing together professionals across artistic fields to share their ‘process and methodology’ with peers in the fraternity to support cross-cultural dialogue in the city.



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