Winning ways

Winning ways

Her lovely smile and tinkling laughter added so much joy to the household.

The recent fiasco and the seven hour traffic snarl caused by our legal custodians reminded me of the first lawyer that I knew in person. Mrs Raja Varadarajulu (even my mother did not know her first name!), cheekily called 'Gundu maami' by us kids, was a landed lady. Generous in every possible manner. She would get her domestic help to deliver a stock of freshly harvested tamarind once a year and in return she would accept nothing but a token coin to keep differences at bay. Then the process of cleaning and packing would begin.

Two women would be supervised by mother and my job was to collect the seeds. The new ones would replace the old for the ‘alu guni mane’ board game. The cleaned tamarind would be rolled in to big spheres with castor oil to give it the necessary viscosity, and put away in wicker baskets. The consignment would last till the next season and this arrangement lasted till she was alive.

Her home was the only one that had a telephone in our entire block and we would occasionally intrude upon the family’s privacy to make urgent calls. We would sometimes be greeted by her only son who was quiet, tall and lanky. When friends asked what he was doing she would say ‘chaduvuthunadu.’ He was preparing to become a lawyer. Since his wedding was performed in another city, maami invited us home to meet the bride.

Her lovely smile and tinkling laughter added so much joy to the household. Eventually maami’s son, the lawyer, became a judge of the high court and thereafter was elevated to the Supreme Court where he served as one of the finest judges this country was blessed with. Friends locate his nobility and astute judgments to his mothers’ traits. This is to speak no less of the father, apart from being a successful businessman, he was interested in astrology. He welcomed neighbours and friends to consult him, again, without receiving any remuneration. Once a distraught mother rushed to him to seek consolation than consultation regarding her daughter’s stubborn stand in the choice of a husband. He succeeded in convincing her to perform a simple ceremony. His winning smile was accompanied by just two words ‘tastes differ!’

Maami’s son, while he was a successful lawyer visited this newspaper’s office to place a classified advertisement. At the billing counter, much to his dismay, he realised that he did not have enough cash on his person. Those were not the ATM days. Recognising him, an executive made arrangements to receive a cheque instead. He returned to the office two days later to check if the organisation had received the amount. The concern and grace that he exhibited then accompanied him through his illustrious career.

In contrast, the other day in Bangalore, we witnessed ‘collateral damage’ caused by some from the same fraternity. May Themis grant them judgment!