Thursday, August 30, 2007

Book Release of "The lives and History of the Dera Bagai's"

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 New Delhi and how he met Gandhiji when he was a small boy.

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.

7 comments:

Ruchika said...

Made mom read---she is very pleased..

Anonymous said...

Dear Nachiketa,

I read your blog and must say was very impressed. I too belong to Dera Ismail Khan but live on the other side of the border. I have seen the Bagai Mansion and its locally called the "Bagai House". Most of the Hindu Dwellings were handed to the Muslim migrants pouring into Pakistan after the partition. I have even taken some snap shots of the place and would like to share them with you. Lala Das Ram Bagai was a notable personality of Dera Ismail Khan. Would you be able to send me the book if you have got it still. Id love to read it. I'll happily bear all the expenses.

Asad

Vikrum said...

Hi Nachiketa, somewhere along the branches of the family tree I believe we are connected from your lovely take on the book signing. I spent a memorable day on FB yesterday with a friend Bhuvnesh from Delhi my 5 th grade who I have not met in 40 yrs and another new friend from Peshawar area Sahib Mirza, soon we found that Sahib Mirza and Raib Bahadur Kanwar my grandfather were involved in business in the 1920's. Thanks for your wonderful write up and now you have a Bagai House in San Diego. Yes you are correct there is no inequality between men and women in our family and culture infact quite the reverse our daughters mothers and sisters are fondly cherished repsected and always protected and cared for first before anyone else.
Do connect on email or FB Love and best wishes Vikrum citrec@mac.com San Diego USA

PRABHU said...

hi every one, thank you so much to keep the word BAGAI in discussion ...
@ ASAD .. hi ASAD , this is PRABHU BAGAI, i m the grandson of harbhagwan bagai, good to see you having interests in BAGAIs,, i can help you in case you are wanting the book.
thank you!
PRABHU

PRABHU said...

Hi Nachiketa,

thank you so much ,, for the book... i hope we the BAGAIS,, are getting a good name ,, as we connected with you for the same,, please do let me knw abt ASAD,, or in case if your policy doesnot allow that ,, pls do help ASAD with my email address that is prabhu_bagai@yahoo.com.
thank you so much.

PRABHU BAGAI.

Anonymous said...

Dear and most Respected Bagais
Its me Haroon Rasheed from Dera Ismail Khan and have great intrest in the Hindus of Dera Ismail Kahn who have migrated in India during partition, specialy Bagai family as i personaly know Bagais of Dera who are living in Delhi and arround the world.I know Atul Bagai the Chief of UN environmental agency and Malika Bagai in London, few months back Atul Bagai was in Islamabad but hard luck did't get the chance to meet him, though have talked on phone. I have visited Bagai Palace and one of my couson lives in that street. I know almost all of the persons who were present on the occasion of this book.i will also post the latest pics of Bagai palace when i will visit Dera on this Eid. All the Hindus,Sikhs are wellcome and if they are in need of any info , i would love to do this.
sungtti@yahoo.com
009230022580096 cell
Haroon Rasheed

Anonymous said...

Dear and most Respected Bagais
Its me Haroon Rasheed from Dera Ismail Khan and have great intrest in the Hindus of Dera Ismail Kahn who have migrated in India during partition, specialy Bagai family as i personaly know Bagais of Dera who are living in Delhi and arround the world.I know Atul Bagai the Chief of UN environmental agency and Malika Bagai in London, few months back Atul Bagai was in Islamabad but hard luck did't get the chance to meet him, though have talked on phone. I have visited Bagai Palace and one of my couson lives in that street. I know almost all of the persons who were present on the occasion of this book.i will also post the latest pics of Bagai palace when i will visit Dera on this Eid. All the Hindus,Sikhs are wellcome and if they are in need of any info , i would love to do this.
sungtti@yahoo.com
009230022580096 cell
Haroon Rasheed