How often you delete a random post on social media because someone asked you to do it? I did it twice, once when my sister told me and once when Ramanna uncle ji told me.
Ramanna uncleji was my adopted uncle. This is a tribute to him. He passed away in April. I blog occasionally these days, so I am late. After moving to Bangalore, I tried calling him a couple of times, but I couldn’t connect. I wish I had met him before moving here.
In fact, when we had just moved in Bangalore, we were going to meet someone. I didn’t know the routes, so my wife was guiding and reading some signboards. She read at one place, “Ramana Maharshi Road,” and later, “Dr. Rajgopal Road.” She said, “Wow, we’re reading Ramana uncleji’s full name!” I called and sent a WhatsApp message to uncleji about it, but I didn’t get any response. Needless to say, my wife had met him and fondly remembers him too.
I read a blog-posts on his website and learned that he was no more. I finally gathered the courage to write this tribute.
He was more than an elderly person to me. He was a friend with whom I could talk about anything and everything. As I have written in my past post (Gratitude) – we could speak on anything under the sun from sex to super-consciousness.
We connected in 2011 when I stumbled upon his blogs. After reading a couple of blogs, I wrote to him. We connected via emails and phone calls, and finally we met at his residence in Pune. I was unaware that he was an MBA from IIM A. When he saw my surprised face, he said that he was lucky to be there. Successful people are humble.
He always surprised me by saying that “It just happened” with whatever he had achieved. I mean, how can one just get something, what about efforts and hard work?
This question brings me to our very first phone call discussion. When I called him, I asked – In your “about” section you have written “I stopped doing”. It reminds me of Ashtavakra Geeta. What do you mean by that? Obviously, we started off discussing spirituality. This point came up multiple times in our conversation. He was an accomplished professional too. When I asked him about all those successful professional years (he was retired when I met him), he brushed it aside by again saying – “It just happened, I was lucky!”
I am sure the luck part came after a lot of hard work.
In our conversations, he would recite a Sanskrit shloka and translate it, too. It could be from the Bhagavad Gita or any Veda. After that, he would explain the takeaway from the shloka to our present discussion. I used to look at him completely awestruck. Now, when I am writing about it, I am feeling lucky to have known him and met with him when I went to Pune.
When I met him in 2011, I was looking for marriage alliances too, all arranged marriages. He used to laugh at me. His was an inter-caste love marriage (about 50+ years ago), and it used to be another point of our discussion with him. He had a great sense of humor. I know it sounds very different from the previous paragraph, where I told you about his discussing spirituality. But remember, God loves fun. It is the title of a book by Sri Sri Ravishankar (Guruji). I understood the meaning of the book when I met uncleji. He had influenced me a great deal during those years.
My closeness with uncleji was such that when I used to have a little serious discussion with my prospective alliance, I used to share the profile with him and call him for his perspective. He used to give impartial perspective. I will continue this in next-to-next para.
In case you are not from India, here is a side story: In India, arranged marriages are where family or relatives arrange for alliances, and the discussion for marriage proceeds from there. Parents, families, and prospective bride and groom meet, and so on. With the digital age, this social norm in India has been digitized. People look for alliances on matrimonial sites such as Shaadi.com and Jeevansaathi.com. I had created a profile on these portals and used to get alliances or reach out to prospective alliances. Sounds funny, but yes, this is how it is. Also, if you are unaware about inter-caste marriage, ping me separately.
For my marriage alliance, I connected with about 24 families / girls. Many rejected me, I rejected some of them. Some over the phone calls no meeting so do not go by the number I kept it in my records as I have always been fascinated with numbers :D. It went on for about 2+ years! Whenever, I had a meaningful initial discussion I used to share the profile with Ramana uncleji (besides parents and my other mentors).
My friends and colleagues knew me as “no nonsense guy” “always thoughtful”, however a couple of girls told me that I have “good sense of humor” and I am “interesting”! I was shocked when I heard this for the first time. But probably when I used to speak with Uncleji I picked a few things.
The last thing, he said he is planning to write a novel. I never get to know what happened to it later on. I kept on probing him (check the comment) but he just did not budge.
I am sure he is resting in peace, having fun wherever he is. Needless to say, I miss him.