THERE ARE many special moments and memories that Dr M S Jain has of Nek Chand, a close and dear friend. Dr Jain was also Nek Chand’s doctor and the two shared a long and special relationship. “Nek Chand was a simple and humble man and he never changed despite the fame, international recognition and the success and admiration his creation, the Rock Garden, received,” says Dr Jain.
Dr Jain met Nek Chand in 1982 through a common friend and they both connected immediately, talking about many things and what really touched Dr Jain was Nek Chand’s friendly nature, and his ability to make everyone feel comfortable around him. “His humility won him so many admirers. He was happy to share his experiences and talk about his art to people of different age groups and walks of life. He was a genius, one who was completely dedicated to his work and never gave up on his dream, no matter what the odds or constraints,” adds Dr Jain.
Appreciating Nek Chand’s art and his creations, Dr Jain describes the varied artworks that Nek Chand created as mesmerizing and beautiful. “What makes Nek Chand’s work timeless and priceless are the ideas that guided his creativity. Absolutely original and unique, he single-handedly created beauty out of nothing and his creations will always live and be appreciated. I used to be awe-struck watching him at work, with such precision and amazing detail. He would first collect waste material like broken crockery, broken pieces of sanitary ware, cloth pieces, stones of different shapes and sizes, to painstakingly make these marvellous creations, each expressing so much beauty and bringing wonder to everyone’s heart,” says Jain.
Dr Jain recalls how he and Nek Chand would go on long walks in the Rock Garden, stopping by at various places, as Nek Chand talked in detail about the process of many of his creations, the thoughts behind the work, the effort and love that went behind each, and also the lovely spaces he created in the garden, with each element thought of and complementing the works. In fact, many of the works by Nek Chand that Dr Jain possesses were given to him by the artist in the garden itself. Finding a special space in his Sector 21 home in Chandigarh are ducks, plant holders, stone and clay beads necklaces and the famous chowkidaar sculpture. “I cherish his love, friendship and regard him as a great artist and human being,” sums up Dr Jain.