Family Lunch: Chopras, GK E490, New Delhi on 28 Dec 1989

I visited India in 1989. Those were tumultuous times when the Soviets were completing their withdrawal from that strategically promiscuous country, Afghanistan. There were extraordinary events taking place in Kabul and several regional centres such as Kandahar, Herat and Mazer-i-Sherif: Full of blood and gore with vengeful Mujahideen running amok against alleged Soviet collaborators – both Afghani and foreigners in the country in various capacities.
Rani Masiji suggested that it was time for me to touch base with the extended family again. She hosted a lunch on 28 December 1989, inviting family members then present in Delhi. As I unravel the mortal coils of memories in my possession, I have come across a small collection of photographs of that family occasion. It strikes me how photogenic the women are without exception. The men much less so, some like myself singularly unaesthetic. However, Richard Gere’s twin, Tino, was clearly an exception!
In this latter context, the photos of the two non-family members deserve mention. Both were drivers of one or the other attendee. Rani Masiji offered them food, but they refused. Arrogantly and without any obsequiousness. Perhaps influenced by the striking handsomeness of Afghan men, not excluding Bin Laden, I thought that the visage of the taller should be preserved. Months later, my ulterior motive was repaid by winning a minor prize ($250) in a photo competition. Interestingly, one of the judges observed that the photograph was faintly a digital reminiscence of Amrita Sher-Gil’s “Men from the Mountains” (see attached). If one of you recognises the men, let me know, and I shall pass the prize money to him/them.
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#Family, #Rani, #Afghanistan, #Soviet Union