West indian literature

Memory celebrates the life of Ritu Nanda

The memoir of Raj Kapoor’s daughter, Ritu Nanda, takes a closer look at her life and the various roles she has played, including that of insurance advisor and creator of the popular Niky Tasha line of kitchenettes.

Written by Sathya Saran, “Being Ritu: The Unforgettable Story of Ritu Nanda” was released on Saturday, coinciding with her birthday. Nanda died last year after a long battle with cancer.

Saran says that Nanda’s story is imbued with all the qualities of the human heart that are valued the most: compassion, love, zest for life, generosity, courage and fortitude. It is “the story of a person who touched the lives of everyone she met immeasurably”.

As the daughter of Raj Kapoor, she was part of the first Bollywood family. Her marriage to Rajan Nanda of the Escorts group led her to join another illustrious family. Yet she continued to forge her own identity as an insurance advisor and even entered her name in the Guinness Book of Records.

Posted by HarperCollins India, “Being Ritu” is the story of a woman who let go of her shyness and entered the limelight, taking on a variety of roles.

It’s about her quiet determination, grace and courage as she lived every moment to the fullest, even battling a dreaded disease, and touched the lives of everyone around her.

The book pays homage to Amitabh Bachchan, family members Randhir Kapoor, Rima Jain, Kareena Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor, as well as acquaintances like Karan Johar, Sonali Bendre, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Gauri Khan and many more.

Bachchan wrote a note in the book, describing Nanda as “always generous, always caring, always gracious in her demeanor” and who lived in the “beauty of every season”. Bachchan’s daughter, Shweta, is Nanda’s daughter-in-law.

The book contains several anecdotes, from Nanda’s school and college days to her wedding, and from her adventure in the escort group to how she conceptualized and developed the Niky Tasha range of kitchenettes. .

Perhaps inspired by the color-coordinated kitchen spaces with appliances neatly stacked in place for easy access, Ritu decided she could do her part to change Indian kitchens as well. Until then, the kitchens of Indian houses were abandoned spaces, relegated to the housemaid or her maids; often dull and smoky, or at best barely usable if equipped with a gas stove and cylinder, ”the book says.

Combining the many aspects of cooking that included preparing multiple dishes with the fact that many urban Indian women also ventured into baking special occasions or cakes, Nanda conceptualized the multi-appliance kitchenette. which would combine several gas or electric burners with an oven.

“In addition to its usefulness, it was aesthetically a topic of conversation; something that required the kitchen to be improved to suit its beauty and function, ”writes Saran.

This is how the Niky Tasha range of kitchenettes was born.

“By combining the names of her children, Nikhil and Nitasha, the loving mother named her new baby, Niky Tasha,” the book says. Nanda became an agent of LIC in 1988 and in 1993 she was the best agent in Delhi.

“Ritu Nanda’s name has been a beacon for every LIC agent over the decades, since she entered insurance history by entering the Guinness Book of World Records,” the book says.

She also started a life insurance business – Ritu Nanda Insurance Services (ISDN).

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