Legendary actor and superstar Amitabh Bachchan shared a close association for almost 60 years with Indu Jain, chairman of The Times of India Group, who attained nirvana on May 13. In an article written exclusively for TOI, he fondly recalls several endearing memories of a gracious hostess and remarkable woman who had a knack for putting people at ease
She walked in a bubble of serenity and divinity, bursting upon the environ she inhabited, at every turn.
Indu Jain, the gentility of her presence infectious and all enveloping, inviting.
Read AlsoIndu Jain, Times Group chairman, attains nirvanaIndu Jain, chairman of the Times Group, lifelong spiritual seeker, pioneering philanthropist, distinguished patron of the arts, and passionate proponent of women’s rights, attained nirvana on Thursday at 9.35pm due to Covid-related complications.
Never a cruel stretch of her countenance… never a frown of disapproval, but ever a smile of contentment, not just for herself but for those that walked around her, walked behind her, walked with her.
Due to the relationship between Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain, the founder of the Sahu Jain empire, and my father, I spent some time living in their Kolkata residence, Jain House in Alipore, during the 1960s and had the honour and was given the privilege to be made to feel like a member of the family (I was much younger then but whatever I did notice I have tried to express as much as I can).
The vast and large residence, the joint family, the camaraderie that existed among all…
Of the ‘gadda’ room and the times spent there with all in excited banter, a game of chess or just some fun… Induji was ever the generous hostess, her care exemplary…
Read Also‘Indu Jain has merged with the cosmos and been liberated’NEW DELHI: An ardent seeker of knowledge, committed philanthropist, visionary and champion for women’s rights — there are many ways to remember The Times of India Group chairman Indu Jain. On Friday, each of these facets came to light, as family and friends gathered over a virtual meeting to
At the dining table the entire family sat together… Induji looking after everyone, and at times serving all personally, before sitting down herself…
There was a moment when I saw her and her mother-in-law, Ramaji, sitting on the floor by the kitchen with the kitchen staff, peeling peas for the evening meal… a most endearing sight…
I was not too aware of her philanthropic work and the work she did for the community and women in particular, but did notice on occasion her inviting several women to the house, where animated discussions would take place; perhaps a precursor to the direction and intent she could have been contemplating for women empowerment campaigns.
On one particular day, I distinctly remember she had invited many ladies to the main drawing room hall and had initiated an informal fun game, where all the guests had to come either dressed or enact an occupation of any ‘common man/woman’ figure of society.
Read AlsoTributes pour in for Times Group chairman Indu JainNEW DELHI: Tributes and condolences are pouring in for Times Group chairman Indu Jain, who attained nirvana on Thursday evening. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet said she will be remembered for her community service initiatives and passion towards India’s progress. President Ram Nath Kovind
Many came and participated — each one doing justice to the topic she had chosen. I was invited too. I came as the ‘puchka wala’ in front of Victoria Memorial… dressed as one and speaking the Awadhi tongue!
Time went by and my association after leaving Kolkata became distant, but whenever there was an occasion to meet her or be in reference of her, there was always a display of respectability, and dignity around and about her.
The most noticeable quality to me about her was her utter modesty and simplicity. For someone of her stature and bearing, it was a quality that was most endearing; one that is difficult to perceive in today’s times.