Mishri Mawa, Ghevar were Vajpayee's fav sweets

Mishri Mawa, Ghevar were Vajpayee's fav sweets

Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the wedding ceremony of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's daughter in 1982.

The late former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has left behind several stories and anecdotes associated with Jaipur, varying from his friendship with the late vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and BJP veteran L K Advani, the brainstorming the trio did to establish BJP in Jaipur and his love for Rajasthani sweets.

"Whenever he visited Jaipur, he would stay for a day, have lunch with our family and never leave without tasting Ghevar and Mishri Mawa, sweet delicacies of Rajasthan. Even while at the Centre, he would ask for it and we would get it delivered," remembers Abhimanyu Singh Rajvee, grandson of Shekhawat. 

Rajvee says whenever he remembers his grandfather, the picture is incomplete without Vajpayee, Advani and Jaswant Singh. "When my grandfather was Vice President of India, I have fond memories of seeing the four of them meeting once in a week at our house - 6, Maulana Azad Road in New Delhi.

"They used to discuss everything, politics, films, family, books and they would prefer family members to serve the food instead of staff,” Rajvee said on phone from Delhi, where he had gone to attend Vajpayee’s funeral.

Recalling Vajpayee as a caring family member and his love for children, Abhimanyu said, "I still remember when we went to Delhi in 2002 and my family was looking for a school for me. Atalji told my nanu sa (Shekhawat), to enroll me in Sanskriti school where his granddaughter Niharika Bhattacharya was also studying. He would often call our principal to know about our performance."

Abhimanyu, vice-president of BJP Yuva Morcha in Rajasthan and seen as a political heir to his grandfather, is the son of Shekhawat's daughter Ratan Kanwar and Narpat Singh Rajvee, senior BJP leader.

Wedding rituals

The friendship between Shekhawat and Vajpayee is remembered in the political circles of Rajasthan. Even the ritual of kanyadaan (giving the daughter’s hand in marriage to the groom) of Shekhawat's daughter Ratan Kanwar was performed by Vajpayee in Jaipur in 1982. The ritual is usually performed by the bride's father.

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