The ideal man

My friend’s father is a much admired man. Work and family wise, he can look back on a well lead life. Trim and active, he continues to ride to work every day even now. The other day I attended his 80th birthday celebrations. After the religious functions and lunch, the immediate family and close friends lingered on in the hall and my friend requested the people gathered there to speak about the gentleman. Words from the heart flowed freely as in laws, siblings, nieces, etc recounted how they had received financial and moral support from him. Instances of his struggles, stoicism and unwavering principles were narrated charmingly by people not used to public speaking. One nephew summed it up best when he said: “Whether it is birth or death in our family, he is the first to be notified and the first to arrive! He is an ‘adarsha purusha’ — the ideal man.”

It was a feel good event indeed, one that makes you ponder over people’s admirable qualities. Now, I must tell you about Sethu, my acquaintance of past few months, a man much younger and from a totally different social and economic background than the one described above.

Sethu is a labourer who now lives next door with his parents. The house is getting completely remodeled and this man, about 20-25 years of age is the unskilled worker cum watchman. Because he is the sole assistant for all the skilled workers, he is in demand throughout the day. Ever smiling, he goes about his odd jobs from dawn to dusk. It is not just his work but even as a family guy, Sethu scores high.

Sethu’s father works elsewhere and comes late in the evening and the father-son duo has loud and happy conversations. His sister and her two kids have also come down now on ‘vacation’ from her village. The sister works side by side with the brother and the kids enjoy the run of the house that is getting remodeled and perhaps more importantly, they enjoy their uncle’s love. After the day’s work, they are all scrubbed and go out. The younger niece has her arm wrapped around Sethu’s neck. Sethu can be seen pulling his sister’s hair and buying goodies for the kids. Sethu, I suspect, has a love interest too. He talks for long on the cellphone and can be seen pacing and smiling. A young girl comes visiting them often and he walks her back. He gives her his undivided attention and sometimes buys her flower strings. It is obvious that the girl adores the young man.
I would like to believe that at least as far as his family is concerned, Sethu is another ‘adarsha purusha’.

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