On such a somber occasion, they say father is always a father you can’t forget him, and husband is always a husband. They always remain in your heart even after they have gone away. But for Puneet Mehra, I can draw a parallel and say a friend is always a friend, though he might never be a blood relation. Puneet’s was even more than a friend.
His absence is a void that will torment us for all times to come, in all our musicals and in our socials. This void will be missed by all our group followers at least as long as our concerts will continue. They have also expressed their condolences separately to me.
Every meet he conducted as an emcee was a success with every inch covered by his deep knowledge and intensive study.
Be it the book launch of my book The Wonderful World, or the Black & White revival of our film music, or our home concerts, where RD Burman, Mirza Ghalib and many others were remembered, he opened a treasury of their life history. He excelled in everything that he took upon himself to do.
Yes, Puneet you will always be present in our concerts, as a silent admirer, don’t please find lacunae in our coverage please. Remember, you never said a NO to our requests, never whatsoever might have been your commitments. So, I take it, you will never refuse our invitation, and you will join. Leave your heavenly seat for the time being and return to mother Earth. This is where your belong.
Come on, Puneet why don’t you do it now. Conduct this prayer gathering yourself. What, are you just watching smilingly!
And not many of us might know, he was an excellent guide, an enthusiast at that. He knew almost everything about Chandni Chowk (चांदनी चौक) area, the history of all buildings from Sheshgunj Gurudwara (गुरुद्वारा) to बलि मारा स्ट्रीट where Ghalib was supposed to have lived.
And not to forget, he was generous. He covered every expense starting from the metro ticket to the rare but popular eats in Chandni Chowk, and he waited at the metro to receive me, as his client. This will not work Puneet, I remember I had cautioned him. Take your money.
Such was Puneet Mehra. He lives no more in this world but he lives in our hearts. His attitude, delivered to us with a smile ….
Sharing a video, in ठेठ Punjabi, once he wrote,
“It revived a lot of dormant memories of both, our life and lifestyle, gone by. Some stray thoughts also came to the mind, shared below with 2 dear friends who would,perhaps, understand and appreciate it better than me.
Lyricist Indeevar has so beautifully defined life….
जीवन कहीं भी ठहरता नहीं है, ऑंधी से तूफाॅ से डरता नहीं है, तू न चलेगा तो चल देंगी राहें, मंजिल को तरसेंगी तेरी निगाहें, तुझको चलना होगा….
The same is true of Time too. When it moves, change is imminent. In the process, the radio gives way to TV, spontaneous conversations to rehearsed, prepared chatroom conversations, the food which was so lovingly cooked, often spending hours in the kitchen, becomes an “Instant meal”!
More importantly, words like “loyalty”, “values”, “valuable”, are deprived of their supportive linkages and contexts in ethics and morality and become mere tools of materialistic and transactional terminology. So, we lose something, gain something and, lifelong, try to figure out ..was it worthwhile? Have we got our dues? “