OVER 15 of Nek Chand’s creations add to the beauty of the garden of Satinder and Harmohan Dhawan in Chandigarh’s Sector 9. These creations were given to them in the early 1990s when Harmohan Dhawan, then a Union minister, used to reside in Delhi.
His wife Satinder says that the creator of the Rock Garden thought it to be a good idea to gift them these sculptures since they would represent Chandigarh’s Rock Garden in Delhi. “Whosoever would come to our house would admire these sculptures, especially people who weren’t familiar with the Rose Garden. My husband would very proudly show it to the guests,” smiles Satinder.
After they moved to Chandigarh, the figurines moved back with them and are scattered all over their garden space. Satinder says she is particularly fond of the figurine of a tall man holding a stick, which looks like he is frozen mid-walking, ready to take his next step. “We’ve placed this at the entrance to our house, it looks like he is welcoming us,” she says. Satinder also admires the utility of these figurines, in different sizes, since many of them can be used as plant holders. Broken tiles, plates, pebbles, have been creatively put together in various combinations to bring the figurines to life as is the case with most of Nek Chand’s works.
While Satinder could never meet Nek Chand, she says that his creations at their residence symbolise his memory.