26 March 2010
We decide to go to Aurofarm for a walk. Once there, we spot GS and his friend sitting on a stone bench by the lake. Both dressed in white, canes in hand. In their mid-seventies they have earned their rest.
“I could not have done it without Srinivasan”, Dr.V used to say when asked about the eye care empire that he built.
We go up to say hello and chat for a while. The conversation is in Tamil, tongue in cheek, imparted with a glint in his eye. He taps his grand-neice on her shoulder with this walking stick, chuckles with delight when I affirm that of-course wives (me included), argue with their husband. He enquires after a housekeeping event at the hospital. Simple chit-chat.
A couple of geese waddle past, squawking in indignation over imagined slights. The sky is covered with what we think are starlings, going home. The setting sun casts a deep glow on the red earth, green shrubs and placid lake. A gentle breeze sets in.
As we walk away, I cannot help glancing back. What a peaceful sight. The man who literally put up the walls and ensured the financial sustainability of an eye care empire, sitting with his closest friend. All those decades of immense hard work, sacrifice and belief in helping the poor. He now ‘allows’ himself a bit of rest, the opportunity to sit by a lake-side, talk with a friend and watch the setting sun.