Memory Trigger 7. The Runaway.


We were blessed with visitors today. A cheerful couple the male half of whom, I have known for 35 years now. They had holidayed in Mahabaleshwar over the weekend and on their way back to Bombay stopped over and spent some time with us.

It was way back in 1981 that I first met DD. He was all of 16 years old then. I was posted in Delhi at that time and I received a trunk call, or a long distance call as my American friends call it from a friend in Bombay. The message was simple, his employee’s younger brother had run away from home after a fight and was seen last in a famous Delhi locality. I was requested to try and find him, take care of his expenses and see that he returned to his family safely.

My team of local citizens from that area went out and located him in a lodge and after settling his debts, brought him to me. I put the fear of God into him and said that he had two choices. Either he would go quietly with an escort back to Bombay or I would arrange to keep him in police custody till his brother came from Bombay to bail him out and take him back. Naturally, he opted for the former and he was escorted back to Bombay without further ado.

Some background about the family. At that time, the family of DD consisted of two elder brothers and no one else. They were struggling after the untimely death of their parents and the middle one was the only one, employed by my friend, earning to see that the three of them kept their bodies and souls together.

After I moved back to Bombay in 1983, the three brothers became closer to us and we had the pleasure of attending all their weddings subsequently.

I am now a kind of surrogate father to the three brothers and their wives.   ND the middle one particularly has been very attached to me and when Urmeela was alive was to her as well. I am very fond of all the three and their wives. DD has got a delightful son who is currently studying in the USA and all the three brothers have great hopes for his future as do I.

All three are now well settled in Bombay and have been successful in every respect. I am very happy to be in their orbit and feel blessed that a runaway young lad brought all of them into my life.

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