“Nek Chand was a unique person, a rare human being, both in character as well as talent,” reflects Harbans Singh Randhawa, a close friend of Nek Chand. Randhawa says that if there are two values everyone must learn from Nek Chand’s life, they are hard work and his complete dedication towards his work and art. Nek Chand’s neighbour and friend for many decades, Randhawa, said that though he was very aware of his friend’s creative and artistic nature, he was absolutely stunned and surprised when he first set his eyes on the Rock Garden. “I just could not believe my eyes,” smiles Randhawa.
The Randhawa family remembers the artist very fondly. “I first met him in the early 1970s when I was a child. I had gone to the Rock Garden with my uncle, who knew that someone was building a space and art works with waste materials. I saw Nek Chand uncle working there. I didn’t know for a very long time that the same gentleman lived in the sector where we did. When I saw his work in the Garden, the first expression that came to my mind was, wow, how ingenious and what a genius man,” says Amarjeet Singh Randhawa, son of Harbans Randhawa.
Amarjeet describes Nek Chand as a person, who was always calm and at peace with the world and himself. “The artist was friendly and open-hearted towards everyone around him.”
Nek Chand gave away many of his art works as gifts to the Randhawa family in course of their association. Nek Chand’s famous chowkidaar guards the gates of their home at Sector 27 and it’s a prized possession. “This was given to me very lovingly way back in the early 1980s and then my friend gave me more pieces made with so much love and creativity in 1998, which are the pride of my home in California,” says Randhawa, adding that they all cherish and respect Nek Chand’s work. “He will always remain in our hearts,” he smiles.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines