“NEK CHAND was a great man, a calm and composed personality, full of innovative and extraordinary ideas,” recalls Kusum Lata, who knew Nek Chand since 1993. “We shared a wonderful relationship. I was his daughter-in-law, but he treated and loved me like a daughter,” she says.
Lata had shifted to Dubai following her divorce with Anuj and was here in India with her school students in 2014, when she last met Nek Chand. “He was a very innovative person even at home, creating new things and never lost his temper in the toughest of situations. He cracked jokes all the time and was a very joyful soul,” recalls Lata.
Lata says she was mind-blown and amazed at his creations, watching the Rock Garden being created bit by bit and all the hard work, commitment and creativity that went into it. “It was so real. The need of the hour is to preserve and protect the creation and we must think about the future of the garden,” shares Lata.
Lata cherishes the beautiful works which Nek Chand had gifted to her at her and Anuj’s wedding in 1994. “We have other pieces that were given to my sister Chitra and my mother Kiran, that have been preserved so beautifully by Anuj. Nek Chand was so generous and gifted so many of his works,” says Lata, who has these works at her residence in Gurgaon.
Lata says she has been an admirer of not only Nek Chand’s work, but also of Anuj’s, who is keeping his father’s legacy alive and creating his own work which is unique, like the Kargil War Memorial and the Doll’s Museum. “Nek Chand was a great human being. He will always be missed and will always have a special place in my heart,” says Lata.