That was me as a young lad imagining myself to be my favourite uncle PK. He was a debonaire bachelor always impeccably dressed and would take me and my siblings for rides on his motorcycle and later on in his Citroën cars. He would take us to Moor Market in Madras and inevitably buy us useful things like Mecanno sets.
He was my only role model ever and I copied many of his mannerisms and traits, particularly his sartorial tastes, impeccable manners and chivalry of the highest order. He continued to be my favourite uncle and a role model for my planned gentleman farmer retirement dreams, till his murder in the hands of dacoits who raided his farm house on the outskirts of Bangalore.
He did not go to any college or university but the Indian schooling system of his days was enough to get him employment in colonial India with some multinational organisations which took him to dizzy corporate heights before he retired and went into his own business in his later years. He taught me to tie a bow tie, mix cocktails and play golf, and to be sociable with all strata of society with no difference in the language/tone used between the classes and was always there cheering me on in my own progress in life. And at a time when I was broke, allowed me to take his car to take my girl friends out on dates when cars were highly valued assets not to be carelessly used. In many respects, he was more father to me than my own father was. He had his faults but I loved him knowing fully well that he loved me too.
He was the first elder from my side of the family that my late wife met and I suspect that she decided that she would be quite safe in our family by that one meeting. He and his lovely wife and our aunt Hazel were particular favourites of hers as well as for our son Ranjan who spent many weekends at their farm house when he was working in Bangalore.
Recently, we have been digging up old photographs and sharing among ourselves in the family group mails and whatsapp and everytime I see him or my aunt I choke. Neither deserved to die such untimely deaths as they did.
I wonder if at some future date some nephew of mine will write about me as I have written about him. How about you dear reader? Any such role model in your life?
This topic was suggested by Ashok who fully deserves to be a role model for young Indians for all the very important and useful things that he does. By ignoring blogging however, he has not been one for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium (LBC) where currently six of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you have enjoyed my contribution to that effort. The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Maxi, and Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!