F and M
A LETTER arrived
in the mail some time ago from a financial institution, telling
me that the person named therein had sought assistance for a house
loan to extend his residential accommodation. That they had been
authorised to refer to me to substantiate the applicant's credentials
and, credibility. Could I please respond confidentially, to the
queries overleaf? Confidentially be thrown to the winds. The person
named therein happened to be uncle F. No blood relation, but a dear
"uncle" nevertheless. Having answered all the questions
in the questionnaire, " to the best of my knowledge "
a man of honour and integrity" and that his "family enjoys
an excellent reputation among the elite, as also among the less
privileged ones of our community in Delhi. Without doubt, I recommend
My spontaneous and
favourable response was not without reason. F and his wife M, have
over the years endeared themselves to scores of people like me who
landed in town lonely and forlorn, knowing not a soul-friend or
foe--always on the look-out for a welcoming smile. Their "open
house" attracted a cross-section of humanity to share in their
cauldron of bubbly laughter, gutsy wit, genuine warmth and affection,
and of course, occasional pot-luck.
A household that
had so much to give, which could prove to one and all that one did
not need to possess in plenty to be able to share and give in plenty.
That's how it was-and
their bonhomie and large-heartedness extended to all and sundry,
with no distinction whatsoever made on grounds of caste or creed,
rich or poor. Having know them for some time, I also discovered
their love for animals, particularly of the canine kind-a love that
I shared. Which led to their adopting little Gypsy, our apso Ringo's
baby. Through F and M, we found new members for our growing family
of dog-relations-- dog lovers who provided good homes to the offspring
of our own menagerie.
My story of F and
M wouldn't be complete if I were to ignore the heights they, especially
M, have reached in mastering Hindi over 40-odd years of life in
Delhi. It is common place to witness M at the piggery telling the
butcher, " Humko poke paile karo man!" or for that matter
to find her in the bazar on a rainy day, extending her generosity,
inviting a dripping stranger on the road to shelter under her umbrella.
"Aamra andhar ayenga?" Or worse, "hamra chaati pakdo,
F and M have long
retired from active service-but not from community service. Ever
ready to help the needy, among other things they do is their regular
visit to the "Home for the Aged". To cheer and succour
the old in their twilight years-- to share the festive spirit with
them, to sing Christmas carols at Yuletide, and most of all, to
give of their abundant love and affection.
Which goes to prove,
that someone up there ensures that there is still enough good around,
through people like F and M, amidst all the travails and the maladies
prevalent in the 'Kaliyug' that we live in and despair about.
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