A very popular saying that ‘Life is not Bed of Roses’ fits very well for the famous fashion designer, entrepreneur, restaurateur, social worker, visionary and a socialite Bina Ramani. She was born in a very conservative and yet wealthy Sikh family, brought up first in Mumbai then in London and is known on the international basis. But money did not ensure her lie as smooth as butter.
Reading her memoir gives a feeling that what life has thrown one difficult situation after another but Bina Ramani has faced all of them with grit and determination. Few would have survived what she went through and that also made a grand comeback each time.
The reason I picked up Bird in a Banyan Tree is for knowing more about Jessica Lal murder case from her point of view and her famous affair with Shammi Kapoor. Well she did not disappoint in both the things. She was the owner of The Tamarind Court where Jessica Lal was murdered by Manu Sharma. This murder brought storm in the otherwise settled life of Bina Ramani.
Two chapters in the book are devoted to Jessica Lal muder case and Bina’s seven struggling years between court and jail. She was the one the eye witness of the Jessica Lal murder case and also trialed for selling liquor in her restaurant without license led to the closer of her restaurant.
She also claimed in her book life long regret for not marrying actor Shammi Kapoor. She was head over heals in love with Shammi Kapoor, who was himself going through a rough patch of his personal life due to the sudden death of her wife Geeta Bali. Yet due to the fierce opposition of her parents and Raj Kapoor, Bina Ramani end up marrying Andy Ramani from San Francisco.
Bina will naturally regrets not marrying Shammi Kappor since Andy turned out to be no better than a monster natrually regerts. Andy Ramani was a abusive husband with disastrous mood swings and with him, Bina spend long 13 years of continuous pain and torture. She has single handedly raised her two daughters from Andy.
But Bina Ramani never gave up. After a bitter divorce and a painful custody battle, she began a fresh new life. She launched the Once Upon A Time boutique which was the rage of the capital. She is also credited with discovering and setting up the Hauz Khas village, which is now one of Delhi’s fashion hotspots, housing scores of designers and popular eateries. She also set up No Exit and The Tamarind Court in the village which drew thousands of footfalls every day.
After life was all set to throw another challenge to Bina Ramani. The testing time came when she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. She survived that but suffered bitterly after the Jessica Lal murder. But a strong women like Bina Ramani overcome everything to pen today her own life in Bird in a Banyan Tree : My Story.
The memoir also has many snaps of Bina Ramani’s life. It is a inspiring tale of never to give up whatever the circumstances .