74th independence day of India

 

Tribute to Mrs. MUNNA BHASIN

MunnaMrs. Munna Bhasin, wife of leading businessman Mr. Shivy Bhasin was a unique and rare person who had principles that drove her throughout her life. She passed away last week and left a legacy of positive experiences for anyone who took the time to know her. She is always remembered for her radiant smile, care and compassion for others.

Coming from Kutch in Punjab, Mrs. Munna’s father was an IAS officer working with Customs and Central Exercise Department and hence she has lived in many cities in India. Finishing her senior schooling in the Mater Dei Convent in New Delhi, she graduated in home science from the Lady Irwin College with a B.Sc. Hons degree in Child development.

After getting married in 1972, she moved to Kuwait. Apart from occupying herself with her hobbies like stitching, embroidery & cooking she took a short course in Arabic and learnt car driving so as to familiarize herself with her new surroundings. Having done so, she worked for the Ministry of Education teaching English in a Kuwaiti Middle School and later worked for Carmel School. Upon expecting her first child, she gave up her job and devoted the next few years to motherhood and to the upbringing of their three children.

After the liberation of Kuwait, along with her close friend Mrs. Meera Menon she started exhibiting Indian handicrafts at her home. They were much encouraged by the then Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Mr. Prem Singh, to promote Indian handicrafts on a larger scale. From then on, started a journey from which there was no looking back.  Encouraged by the hugely positive response that they received from the Kuwaiti population, the two ladies conducted several exhibitions at the Indian Embassy and later at Bayt Lothan, a Kuwaiti handicraft centre.

Simultaneously, her friend Kiki who lives in London kindled her interest in high fashion Indian garments or haute couture. Together they organized a fashion show by India’s leading designer Ritu Kumar in 1997 at the Bayt Lothan. The show was a sell out to a Kuwaiti audience; and so followed several more exhibitions and another fashion show by the famous Indian designer cum film maker Muaffar Ali.

In 1993 the Ladies wing of the Indian Arts circle was started at the initiation of Mrs. Sunny Mathews and Mrs. Roy Abraham. Mrs. Munna was the Secretary and conducted several informative and entertaining programs. Award winning stage plays like “Tumhari Amrita” featuring Shabana Azmi & Farooque Sheikh and “Saalgirah” featuring Anupam Kher & Kiran Kher were brought to Kuwait and performed to full houses.

Munna was a member of the Human Relations Committee formed by the Indian Embassy with the Indian Arts circle for the shelter of distressed Indian maids in Kuwait.

In addition to taking care of their needs, the committee organized a Fashion show by Muzaffar Ali in the Indian Embassy in 1999, the proceedings of which went towards the welfare of the maids. She also recollected memories of the money collected by the Ladies circle being donated for Kargil. Mrs. Munna coordinated the exposition of the Handloom and Handicraft Export council of India in Kuwait in Bayt Lothan.

“The desire to promote the richness and tradition of Indian craftsmanship is what drives me to import & sell Indian handicrafts, fabrics, furniture & accessories in Kuwait” said Mrs. Munna Bhasin.

May the divine soul rest in peace.

In Reverence and Remembrance.

- Matter Courtesy: Indian Frontliners part-10 edition (2006)

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