“LIVELY, open-hearted, generous, Nek Chand was a man, who was adored and respected by all,” recalls Vikas Gupta, who met the creator of the Rock Garden way back in 1984. A friend and classmate of Nek Chand’s son Anuj Saini, Gupta had visited the Rock Garden before he met Nek Chand, an experience he describes as amazing and unforgettable.
“Only a person with an extraordinary mind, ideas and creativity could produce such work and create a space like none other in the world. On meeting the artist himself, my heart was filled with joy and respect. His love, kindness and warmth for all and complete dedication and focus towards his work is an inspiration for everyone,” adds Gupta.
Gupta was witness to the time when Nek Chand was giving final touches to the Rock Garden and the single-minded devotion towards its completion. “It was fascinating to see him work on the sculptures and other elements of the Garden with just waste material and, that, too, single-handedly and his unique work has won appreciation and accolades from the world over,” adds Rajpura-based Gupta.
As Gupta would often stay over at Nek Chand’s home, he got to know the artist very closely and felt a part of the family, with all of them often visiting the Rock Garden together, as Nek Chand narrated many interesting stories on the making of the Garden, talking to them about the many challenges and high points of the creative journey, “Those moments together at the Rock Garden I will cherish forever.”
When Gupta completed his graduation, his visits to Nek Chand’s home were limited and he missed the precious moments together. Gupta received two beautiful works from him in 1989, pieces that are tokens of Nek Chand’s love and find a special space in his Rajpura home. “These tokens of remembrance are very memorable and important to me as they bring alive his memories and love.”