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 ….
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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’ (www.imanthan.org ). 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.