|The light goes out, the curtain drops. I become isolated by a tale that goes back seventy years. When, there was mum, my elder brother Ernest and myself. Mum became very busy gathering and providing for the three of us. Ernest assumed the role of the man of the house. And, I blissfully unaware of the stormy blast, played dream games like any other five-year-old. Ernest, very seriously took to guiding me. We had a very loving brotherly relationship, that periodically broke out into violent fist fights. These were broken up (mercifully) through interventions of Narayan Singh. We’d patch things up and go on to do other things together, like going to the pictures.
Two individuals could not be more different. Ernest was the model student, representing the school in all the sports with distinction. I was left with a burden of trying to catch-up, and to be reminded that I should try to be more like my elder brother. Ernest continued to excel through the college years. He did well in his studies while representing his college in soccer and diving. He earned a reputation as something of a “tutor”, based on the demand for his popular “Notes”. In demand, not only at Meerut College, but also in the neighbouring girls’ college – a reputation that gave him an advantage over other budding studs. A born leader, he became a prefect at a time when exceptional skills were required to maintain peace and discipline among warring students bent on killing each other. Favourite among his “extras” was the stage. He saw a lot of India, travelling with the college troupe, representing Agra University at National Youth Festivals. At graduation he was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s medal for being among the top ten all-rounders from among about 14,000 students.
In the world of work Ernest always fought above his weight. He moved around companies, always giving his best, right till his retirement. In retirement he continued to seek to make a difference. He was involved in his parish and gave of his time and talents to whom-so-ever and where-so-ever he thought he could help in any way.
This light was extinguished on the 3rd of February 2018. He will be sadly missed by his rock and best friend (my sister-in-law Margaret) their daughter Georgina and her extended family, George, Roopa and Abigail, Gerald, all his brothers, sisters and those who were blessed to have known him. He will be missed, but we know he is in a better place.