Sunday, October 20, 2019

Posted at: Mar 6, 2019, 6:55 AM; last updated: Mar 6, 2019, 6:55 AM (IST)PUSHVINDER CHOWDHRY (1945-2019)

City will miss his creative streak

City will miss his creative streak
Pushvinder Chowdhry

Roopinder Singh

Walking into the Rock Garden amphitheatre for a play by The Company, theatre lovers could count on being received at the entrance by Pushvinder Chowdhry and wife Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry. It was her play, her production, her company, yet Pushi, as Pushvinder was popularly called, was always there, supporting yet another endeavour of Chandigarh’s most prominent theatre personality. He was 73 when he passed away on Monday.

Murree (now in Pakistan) was where he was born before Partition, and later lived in Pune and Mumbai with his parents. Father Kulbir Singh was the son of the first and only Sikh Mayor of Bombay, and mother Jai was a sister of Bhai Mohan Singh, founder of Ranbaxy. They lived on Cuffe Parade, where the heritage family bungalow, one of the few left standing today, is dwarfed by high-rises.

Pushi was married to Neelam, daughter of eminent eye surgeon Dr Man Singh Nirankari, over four decades ago, and spent the early years of his life working for Rallis India in Mumbai and Bhopal.

Pushi had initially studied in Pune and later joined Doon School (Jaipur House), as his childhood friend Surjit Dugal remembers. He went on to St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and then to London for further studies. Pushi always had a creative streak and loved drawing and sketching, but did not pursue it professionally. Creativity, though, could not be subsumed in the corporate career for too long, and it was to manifest itself later in Chandigarh.

Liberated from the constraints of a job, he evolved into a business consultant based in Chandigarh and travelling wherever work took him. He ventured into a few enterprises, notably Sunbeam, a herbal pesticide venture. He was also a business and marketing consultant for the telecommunication company Orange, and organised their first advertisement campaign. He introduced Italian Gelato in Squisita Cafe in Sector 10 in 2012.

Most of those who interacted with him remember Pushi’s fun-loving nature and his impish sense of humour. Readers of The Tribune will remember his unique genre of incisive, illustration-less ‘cartoons’, which were carried in Janmarg column for over a decade till 2017.

A gentleman in the true sense of the word, Pushi loved golf, although he recently devoted more time to the game of bridge. He was more than a supportive husband, helped to nurture the creative endeavours of his wife Neelam, and sons Angad, founder of QuiltAI, and the award-winning film director Kabir. Those who know the family will also remember the graceful manner in which Pushi was an equal partner with Neelam in taking care of his in-laws. Many in Chandigarh will miss him.


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