We all know about legends ….the ones who have struck the pinnacles of life . They are the ones in every field who do well and are avidly followed . There comes a time when the person has to step down from the stage and give way to the younger stars . Then is it easily accepted by the legend ? Some of them have left the field at the top of their careers . They know when to retire . An outstanding example is Roger Federer . Others still persist and gradually fade away when the younger ones make their appearance . The world acknowledges these persons and they go into the record books or the archives . How does it feel or what happens to them. It’s not easy . Some have made their careers their very lives and then don’t know what to do thereafter . There have been cases of depression and the need for counselling . Those who have discovered other pursuits somehow go through this stage of life in a better way . When you speak about legends , have you and I thought about ourselves . We all have to leave the stage as time goes by. Younger people then take over . The term used is retirement. I think one has to prepare for this season of one’s life . There are many avenues to get involved in . Writing offers a way of bringing back memories . Some write their memoirs. Others go into story writing . Some who are fond of music either play a musical instrument , or compose or just listen to their type of music . There are some who become advisors or coaches and pass on their experiences to younger people . Some are voracious readers . Some pass their time with friends for a walk or visiting quiet places at gardens and beaches . Life changes need to be accepted. What we do with ourselves is to prepare for this. The old adage of ‘mellowing with age ‘ is so applicable . We can continue to use the talents we are blessed with . The best way is to have a life of daily prayer and seek the Lord’s guidance . Life does not end, but changes . Eternity beckons . Am I ready for it ?
He was an all rounder….good at sports , an ability to speak with flair , good at sales , a family man to the core and was able to get along with people .
As a sportsman, he was good at cricket hockey and athletics. In his younger days his bowling was comparable to the Indian medium pacer Ramakant Desai. He was told by one of the Indian cricketers, that he could try for selection into the Indian team. However Joe was more interested in hockey and there were slim chances of getting into the Indian team which was the best team internationally. I remember playing table tennis with him and just could not take his spin service .
His ability to speak helped in sales and being a success in insurance work . He was the leading sales person for the Encyclopaedia Britannica , which earned him trips to Mexico, Austria and Egypt.
An interesting aspect of his speech was his ability to speak in the way we speak in India with a typical clarity in delivery , but then break into the accent of the British when in England.
He studied in Pune at the St Vincent’s High School and won many awards in Athletics.
He then did his education at the University in Bombay .
Just like his father , he moved to East Africa where he served for some years.
When the trouble started, and non Africans were forced to leave , he moved to UK. He settled well facing all the challenges of starting life in a new place. His family consisted of his wife Margaret and three children , Clifford , Daphne and Valerie.
My early memories of him was his stature. He looked a bit like Ted Kennedy and I was happy when any of my family told me , that I looked like him .
There was an interesting incident when he visited us in Bombay (now Mumbai) without informing us .
It was late at night and he rang our door bell . My Dad , a doctor , enquired ‘Kaon hai?‘ in Hindi (Who is it ?) He replied “ Mai , patient hoo “ ( I’m a patient ).
My Dad never liked night calls and went only for his patients he knew . So he replied . “Doctor nai hai “ ( Doctor is not at home )
Joe broke into laughter and said “ Micky it’s me Joe “ and we all had a good laugh .
His home in London was always open to guests from all over the world . London happens to be a convenient stop for the guest travellers who visited him .
He enjoyed sea food and fresh fruit in Goa . He and Margaret also stayed with us in Mumbai but preferred Goa.
In his latter years he visited Goa from October to March, and just loved it , thus escaping the winter.
My wife and I were privileged to visit him and the family in London a few years ago. All my extended family had already been his guest .
He was a brave person and faced the challenges of failing health well . My last words with him from India was praying on the phone with him Psalm 23 ,
‘the Lord is my Shepherd.’
He then passed away peacefully . I was surprised that he had prepared the readings from scripture and hymns for his mass. I will never forget him …the dashing and brave person .
Our journey commenced from Glasgow Central . My wife Anjean and I were accompanied by a Jesuit priest Fr. Vincy Vaz visiting from India.
Our cab dropped us at the main bus terminal . However we had booked our trip on a private tour bus . It was quite a challenge to find this bus stop. After making a few rounds of the area , we finally found the bus parked not far from the main bus terminal .
The time was 6.50 am and the bus was scheduled to leave at 7am . We just made it to the bus where our guide cum driver was waiting. He gave us a warm welcome .
Having him to drive and also be our guide was the best part of the journey.
He was funny and had a lot of stories to share as he drove along . He looked a personality from the movies with long hair tied behind and a beard .
We left Glasgow before sunrise , and gradually saw daylight creeping in .
Our first stop was Loch Lomond . The lake is beautiful. The sunshine was brilliant and made a good opportunity for pictures . A few people were boating on the lake.
We had a quick cup of coffee and tuna sandwiches that Anjean had prepared for this trip. The mince samosas , an Indian snack also prepared by Anjean would serve as lunch along with the sandwiches and cheese biscuits.
Our next stop was at Ardlui . We stretched and walked around . The slope of a hill made a beautiful backdrop with the rust coloured trees ,greens of the others and the frost below .
We then moved on the through the Scottish highlands into Rannoch Moor and Glencoe . Glencoe is considered the most beautiful glen . We passed beneath the Ben Nevis en route through Glencoe. Glencoe is a village in Lochaber which is famous for its natural beauty . It has the Ben Nevis the highest mountain in Scotland . There is a memorial installed for the soldiers who died during the 2nd World War and those thereafter . The nearby valley is very steep .
The mountains were breathtaking!
There is a small village at the foot of the Glencoe . We passed by Fort Augustus and Fort William until we reached Loch Ness. Fort William is the main town at Lochaber.
Loch Ness is famous for the monster that is supposed to live in the Loc. There are two sets of people , one group firmly believes in it’s existence and the other does not believe . In Scottish forklore she is known as Nessie and is believed to make an appearance periodically.
There was an option to join a cruise on the lake . However we were happy to enjoy tea and cakes at the quaint restaurant near the lake. A gushing spring with a bridge across was a sight which caught my eye .
We then drove on , passing through Inverness . With the sunsetting , it became dark and there was not much to see. So our driver cum guide quietened down and drove speedily back to Glasgow . On the way we had to detour because of road repair . With the help of a passenger and google he found his way back on the route . We did see a beautiful scene of a bridge over the lake just before sundown .
So our day’s trip ended giving us a lot to remember.