Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Reminiscences – Sri Ram Niwas Mirdha

Today morning a close friend gave me the sad news of Sri Ram Niwas Mirdha’s demise. Sri Mirdha was in hospital in critical condition since last week. I first met him in Luxembourg in 1994 or 1996 and thereafter accompanied him on a number of delegations to foreign countries including China, USA and Switzerland. In fact, I spent more time with him abroad than at home.
In December 2009 I was at his house in Delhi for a couple of hours. We discussed national and international politics and India’s role in the UN at length. Mirdha ji’s demise is a national loss. Indian politics and NGOs would feel his absence the most.
After my marriage, Mirdha ji paid us a luncheon visit and presented my wife with an exquisite Nagori painting. There are so many unforgettable shared memories with Sri Mirdha but I would recount one that revealed his immense popularity and respect.
During one of the visits to China, the Chinese government officials took us to see the diamond factory of one of the leading industrialists. On our way to the factory, the Chinese officials lavished praises on the industrialist, a person of Indian origin, who had made it big in a short time. Sri Mirdha was leading the delegation. On reaching the factory, the industrialist, who the Chinese officials were praising no end, graciously touched Sri Mirdha’s feet and said, “Sir! Do you remember me?” Mirdha ji said “No!” The great industrialist said, “About 25 years back, I was your chauffeur on duty when you visited the United States. You only had advised me to start my own business.”
We all stood there speechless.
ess bee

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting. I have heard many good anecdotes about Sri Mirdha and am hardly surprised by the popularity and respect he commanded.