“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;”
We first met at a Buddhist chanting session. Back then, we stayed in Andheri, Mumbai suburbs, and we were in the Juhu group. I could not help but admire her beautiful face and tall shapely frame. She told me she was a model and actress. I was just a beginner then, trying to find my feet and she had already worked in a popular Tv serial.
We started meeting more often, mostly for chanting sessions and reading the monthly Buddhist newsletters. Sometimes we would chat over tea and sandwiches. She loved the cheese, tomato, spring onion sandwiches I made and would help me with clearing up thereafter. As I got to know her better, I also got to see how intelligent and articulate she was and also sometimes impulsive.
I had to photograph her, also we both needed to upgrade our portfolios. I wanted to do something different and I wanted to experiment (which was quite expensive back in those days of analog cameras and films and transparencies). I wanted to shoot only Black and White, and she was a good sport, excited even with the idea of experimenting.
Shooting her portfolio was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had as a photographer. She was a true professional. She just knew what to do in front of the camera. Vandana, I love to flirt with the camera she would say.
Sadly, Kuljeet passed away a few years later, at the prime of her youth and career, leaving her near and dear ones devastated.
She has long gone, but her beautiful memories remain. Her youth and beauty preserved forever. Kuljeet, I hope you are happy and peaceful wherever you are. Thinking fondly of you today and everyday!