May 15

The Bhandaris

We kept meeting them many times. This wonderful witty old man, always dressed in a suit with a very English hat, and this sparkling, white haired lady, immaculate in her sari or utterly at ease wearing jeans… and they kept telling us to come and stay with them when we were in Delhi, and we would tell them, we want to keep you as friends… that if we come along and stay, with us an entire battalion of very boisterous young people will also land up and start to dig in your fridge πŸ™‚

And, they would say, oh don’t worry about it, we are used to all that… you guys just come! And we would laugh and say … oh we will see about it…

Then we met this delightful couple in Bali, where Ranji bhai cornered us. They said we know you are coming to Delhi, you cannot give us the slip, now you have to come and stay with us … We gave the usual story, they just waved it aside saying we have 5 grand children and 3 dogs, we know what is noise!!

We later found out that he was 81 and she 71, and they had been married for 49 years… next year is their 50th wedding anniversary!


… and so one late winter night, we found ourselves at Padmini Enclave their beautiful home. We reached around midnight, and Prama bhabhi had told us that she would keep a meal ready for us in a little cottage which was adjoining the main house. We walked down the garden path to welcoming warm lights twinkling at us through the trees, to a cosy, lovely little place which was to be our home for the next few days and an amazing meal…

It’s a lovely, serene, quiet home right in the heart of Delhi… They have a huge garden with lots of trees and opposite their house, there is a heritage ruin… so there is birdsong and flowers and trees and miraculously there is almost no noise even from the traffic of the main road which is just minutes away. It felt like we were in some lovely hill station… it definitely didn’t feel like Delhi!

We had a glorious few days with them… superb meals, fantastic conversations and we got to meet some very interesting people who would come to stay with them. Ranji bhai’s father had been the first chief justice of India in the time of Nehru, and they had had a unique view of the entire independence struggle… It was fascinating to meet people who had come to this world, when electricity was almost a dream, and who are now utterly at ease with the internet and using mobile phones!

They have two beautiful dogs, both doberman, sleek and black… very friendly once you get to know them… We played a lot with the dogs who were family.

There were many stories that they shared with us which had us glued to our seats, some scary, some hilarious… somehow time went much slower there, after a hearty meal and 3-4 stories when i would think it must be well past midnight, it would turn out that it’s not even 11 pm… Dinesh and i would always wonder about that…

Our very noisy friends didn’t faze the two of them at all… in fact Ranji bhai would come and regale them with more stories and incidents from his very colourful life and they all went back with a bit of history in their hearts and a smile on their face…

I took over the kitchen for a few meals and Prama bhabhi shared with me some of her quickie recipes too. She mentioned that she had put on weight since we had come and stayed with them… i took it as a complement! πŸ™‚

May we all age just as gracefully and graciously as the Bhandaris. And have hearts as big as theirs to be able to share of ourselves withΒ  everyone around us.

Jai Gurudeva!



1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

29 Responses to “The Bhandaris”

  1. Apu says:

    it some how reminds me of Guruji’s Mother! πŸ™‚

    Jai Gurudev!

  2. AdiTyA says:

    Jai Guru Dev :)…wow what a beautifully smiling couple…what an awesome start to my day just by looking at them smiling :).Bawa I am going to copy this picture and look at it frequently:)
    Jai Guru Dev

  3. Anshul says:


  4. Manish says:

    During one of my Advance courses, I remember doing the share your story process with both uncle and aunty πŸ™‚

    Good to see them after many many days!!!

  5. Manchit Mahajan says:

    It is so wonderful to read abt such people…

  6. Anshika says:

    short and sweet πŸ™‚
    **May we all age just as gracefully πŸ™‚
    Jai Gurudeva

  7. sudha says:

    HAppy wedding anniversary both aunty n uncle (advanced or belated) this reminds me of ashram where there si so much of love and joyfullness around

  8. Vishal says:


    Sounds Amazing ..

    Jai Gurudev!

  9. jaideep says:


  10. bhawana says:

    Oh Yes!! They Look LOVELY πŸ™‚

  11. Devdatta says:

    You also told us about this story at Utsav! in Pune…
    Nice to read it again πŸ™‚

  12. Sriram says:

    Brilliant story – These are the pillars of our society; people will remember them for a long time to come.

    Jai Gurudev!

  13. Saket says:

    The Bhandaris are a very nice couple. I have known them for many years. They are so humble. BTW, we have our AOL new year satsang at their house every year (at least we used to have it there till 2 years back – I havent been in Delhi for quite some time now). Any of you in Delhi around new year time – find out if there is a 31st Dec satsang at their place – and you will not forget it for many years to come (I remember every new year spent – rather earned there).

  14. Anand says:

    Great Couple..

  15. Ankit says:

    Nice young couple πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing bau..
    Lots of love!
    Joy gurudev πŸ™‚

  16. Ramakrishnan says:

    Bawa, Thanks for sharing this story

  17. Swapnil says:

    Cutely Written Bau….
    U Express so beautifully through words…..
    That was one of your awesome posts….
    Waiting for more πŸ™‚
    Love,Jai Gurudeva πŸ™‚
    Swapnil πŸ™‚

  18. Arundati says:

    Nice Couple !

    Blessing to the world !!

    Thank u for sharing


  19. mahika says:

    so sweet…

  20. Yogesh says:

    I remember the day we came to meet you at that place for Satsung!!
    They are really as wonderful as you described…it was really nice meeting them!


  21. Sudarsan says:

    Amazing Bau!!!… Both Aunty and Uncle looked only 30 to me. Only now I came to know their true age.

    Uncle was really kind and told us all those stories as if he were narrating it from yesterday.

    Aunty really gave us some knowledge about dog breeding and took away my fear of dogs by making me shake hands with the little one.

    Both were really enthusiastic and showed around the great house they had built, with great pride.

  22. Prakirtee says:

    Ohhh this is so sweet πŸ™‚

  23. […] and I spent an extremely pleasurable 5 days with Prama and Ranji Bhandari at their very beautiful home in Delhi. Prama aunty is a brilliant cook and i made her share some of […]

  24. […] had this late late at night when we went to Prama and Ranji Bhandaris home… and we simply couldn’t get enough of it for the next few […]

  25. […] classy tomato based sauce from Prama bhabhi. Reeeeallly […]

  26. Sakshi says:

    What a house!!!
    Ghar me mandir hai ya mandir me ghar pata hi nahi chalta…
    One can smell divinity n peace in their home. It was a combination of history, heritage, modernity, beauty, nature,intellect, sensitivity, fun and sprituality πŸ™‚
    Thank you Bawa.
    Had a wonderful experience with you and them in the house.
    Jai Gurudev!!!

  27. sue thompson Velie says:

    Would someone tell Prama Sondhi Bhandari that her college roommate is trying to reach her to invite she and Ranji out to dinner on May 23 or 24. We have a Delhi layover. my email is Am also on Facebook. Thank you.

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