Jehangir Sabavala passed away taking with him memories of yesteryear that held stories of the Paris Salon days and travel in Europe, which packaged learning and training in easel painting and champagne parties, all rolled in one. The elegance and charm of Jehangir was so refreshing in comparison to the loud pink-shirt culture of the new Bombay Boy brigade. His quiet self-dignity never desired to claim attention to himself, and his visits to any art event where always to gift to the other the focus of his respect.
We were always humbled by the new year greetings each year that came unfailingly. Despite a painful and protracted illness in the last years of his life, Jehangir continued to embrace each day with a completeness that could teach many of us lessons in will-power and discipline. For somebody like myself who has a terrible memory for names, I found his ability to personalise his relationship through the remembrance of one's entire family (including begum our cat), to be commended. His desire was always to make the person he interacted with feel supremely special.
I think if I were to step into a time machine I would love to press the button that would place me into that era of yesteryear, where I could have known this dashing Parsi gentleman, and twirled on his arm in the ballroom of the Taj! I know I will always look over my shoulder each time I am at an opening in Bombay, expecting his gentle touch on my shoulder, that would herald his greetings of delight at meeting up each time.
Dear Jehangir, you are irreplaceable for us.