On Saturday 25th august, I had gone for a book release function.
“The Lives and History of the DERA Bagai’s” written by Mr S.M.Bagai.
Why so? My paternal grand mother’s maiden name was Bagai….. Ms. Kanta Bagai. When she married my grand father (Krishan Chandra) she became Mrs. Kanta Chandra passed away 2 years ago.
To be honest, I wasn’t very keen on going for the function. Then I thought how important this would be for my dadaji. I had a holiday so I decided to take my dadaji accompanied by my mom.
We got to India International Centre at Lodhi Estate a bit late and to my surprise found the hall to be full. I thought “That’s a lot of Bagai’s”.
We were able to catch most of the introduction of the book by the author. What impressed me the most was that this gentleman had not even been to DERA (the native place of this generation of Bagai’s) even once and yet he had the passion and dedication to compile a book about them. He has traced the genealogy tree back to the 1800’s… now that’s some effort :-)
Another amazing thing he did which really turned my attention to this whole function was that he had traced the lives of even the Bagai daughters. Most books of this genre trace the family trees of the sons. This made my grandmother a part of this documentation of history and hence us.
He discussed that the objective of this was to “link people” and “people should know their roots”.
I felt like piping up and saying…all of you please register on brijj.com and linkedin.com for best results…. ;-)
The function was compared by Mr Atul Bagai who kept the humorous vein going throughout the event with various anecdotes about the family. He also spoke about “people to people contact” as the theme of the book.
The book was released by Mr. Jagdish Khatter (Ceo of Maruti Udyog Limited) The function was presided by Prof M.G.K.Menon. The speakers at the function were people closely associated with the Book, Author and Derewal.
Mr. Shobha Ram Lal – He delivered his speech in the native language, which totally reminded me to my grand mother.
Mr. Mohinder Bagai – (my grand mother’s brother) – His speech revolved around his parent and their contribution towards education and religion after they relocated from Dera to
Mr. Jagdish Khatter – He spoke about how his father was associated with the author and this family very fondly and wished him all the best.
Dr. R.S. Garkal – He had stories to tell about how he was treated very warmly by the Derewal community when he visited them for a conference. He invited us all to his house to see photos of that era and a tea party with Pandit Nehru.
Mr Prem Piplani – He was introduced as a “Frequent Flier to D.I.Khan”. He is a radio commentator for cricket. He began in English but switch to the native language, which sounded like sugar to the listener’s ears. He spoke of the warmth, hospitality, brotherhood and unadulterated love and affection of the people of D.I.Khan.
Mrs Dolly Nanda – she has been very closely associated with the author and more so in the last 6 years when he was writing the book. She narrated incidents with a colonial touch.
Prof. M.G.K.Menon – I found him to be one of the best chairpersons at a book release function. He was oddly matched with the crowd here as he is belongs to Kerela. After he read the book he realized, he knew a lot of Bagai’s without knowing that they all belonged to the same clan. He also narrated his experiences of “community living” in the matriarchal system in Kerela.
When we left the function, I resolved to read the book.