‘THE JAM SAHEB’S OF­FER WAS GOOD FOR EV­ERY­BODY. JAM­NA­GAR WAS FAR FROM ANY PO­LIT­I­CAL CEN­TRE, SO IT WOULD NOT RE­MAIN IN FO­CUS.’

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION -

Josephine Salva learnt to sing in Gu­jarati; where Zbig­niew Bar­tosz, aged 8, learnt how to be pop­u­lar.

“The Ma­haraja vis­ited our camp with his pock­ets full of tof­fees, which I was en­trusted to dis­trib­ute…. I have never had so many friends,” re­calls Bar­tosz, now 74.

The Pol­ish chil­dren met the Jam

Saheb’s chil­dren dur­ing fes­ti­val days.

Says Her­shad Ku­mari, the Jam Saheb’s el­dest daugh­ter: “We would meet them when we went to spend our sum­mers in Balachadi from Jam­na­gar. They would also come over dur­ing my fa­ther’s and brother’s birth­days. When they ar­rived in Balachadi they were in bad shape due to mal­nu­tri­tion, disease, the ar­du­ous travel, but they slowly re­cov­ered.” The Jam Saheb told the chil­dren he was the fa­ther of the peo­ple of Nawana­gar, so he was also their fa­ther. The chil­dren called him ‘Bapu’. On the days they were feel­ing cheeky, they called him ‘the Big Jam’ – but never, of course, to his face.

COUR­TESY: JOZIA NOWICKA

Ev­ery time the Ma­haraja (left, in black coat, at a pro­duc­tion of ‘Cin­derella’) vis­ited the chil­dren’s camp for a pro­gramme, he do­nated ~1,001. The ex­tra ru­pee, he ex­plained, was a de­posit for the next suc­cess­ful show.

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