Category Archives: Profiles

Badey Bhai: Aroon

Is there a difference between friendship and brotherhood ? Aroon is a friend but has been more than a brother to me . I could not resist in writing this blog.

Aroon shared stories of his younger days . He spent a part of his childhood until 4 years old, in Mangalore as a result of which his knowledge of English was limited.

When he was brought to Bombay ( now Mumbai) his schooling in English left him lagging behind others . A teacher Mrs.Betty Guerra included him in her class for slow learners . This brought about a sea change and Aroon began rising to the top 10 in the class .

At the high school level he proved to be an excellent sportsman . He won the Intermediate championship in Athletics, and was good at football, basketball and hockey.

He thought he had a calling to the priesthood and joined the Jesuits seminary soon after school. He spent 9 years when doubts crept in . After serious discernment he decided to take a break from the Jesuits after completing a Bachelor in Philosophy degree .

In a short time thereafter Cupid’s arrow struck . He was on the ship to Goa . A group of teachers were also on this voyage. That is when he met Elaine . As the ship sailed through choppy waters, Elaine was impressed with his calm faith in God .

Much later Elaine heard Aroon speak at a church event and the rest became his -her-story leading them both to the altar for a marriage made in heaven.

Aroon later did a diploma in HR with Xavier’s Institute of Management. He worked several places with Contour, Chaitra , Lintas, did Head Hunting and then Administrator with a Teacher Training Organisation.

The best still awaited . He left professional services to make himself available to the Community of Jesus: Light of the World, and went on to lead as Senior Coordinator. This is a community of committed Christians affiliated to the Catholic Church and the Sword of the Spirit Communities worldwide.

I remember writing a tribute in the Community newsletter ‘Maranatha’ , when he handed over the mantle of leadership to his successor Agnelo, that Aroon will never hang up his boots ; he will continue to serve in any way he is called .

He has proved to be a brother who always affirms and reaches out to others . He is creative and musically inclined . His writing skills were given as an example to others when studying at the seminary .

He has written and directed several plays for the J B Petit School where Elaine was a teacher .

Importantly Aroon is a great Family man …

He is father of 2, Sandeep and Sangeeta and grandfather of 4. He dotes over his grandchildren of whom he has written some humorous articles (always beginning with Papa:) in the Community newsletter .

Some years later , I requested him to join my team when I took on the mantle of Senior Coordinator in the Community of Jesus:Light of the World. He obliged and was a great support to me during my tenure. We consider each other as Badey Bhai and Chhote Bhai (Hindi for big brother and small brother) I have known him to speak up when it matters. We were so close that we fought the good fight in discussions when one did not agree with the other …. but always maintained our brotherhood .

In Aroon’s words :

“The years of being in the Leadership Team of CJLOW brought me into closer interaction with you (Vincent). We developed a closer relationship because of openness, transparency and (forthrightness??) Our candidness insaying what was on our mind, even heatedly at times helped to clear the air. Agreed to disagree, sometimes. But remained friends”

He visited me often during my cancer treatment. The chats with him were always encouraging . I know that Aroon has likewise reached out to many who may be sick and need assistance.

His interest in music and song is notable. Often he could put a choir together and either sing or contribute with the guitar. The occasions could be for church events, weddings and even funerals. He has written poems and adapted songs to suit the occasion . He has raised memorable toasts at weddings with his wit and command over the English language .

One attribute I admire most is Aroon’s ability to affirm others for their talent , or a job well done . The second is his sense of humour . Occasionally he sent me into splits of laughter when he recounted incidents and gave it a twist of wit.

So this my friends is all about brotherhood

A call to go beyond oneself to be of service to another .

Keep up the good work Badey Bhai !

Aroon and Elaine
Grandchildren Nirvan and Araya
Grandchildren Christin and Matt
Vincent and Aroon

Different Strokes: A Profile of Ganesh Tayde

It was a pleasure to meet Ganesh Tayde, at his exhibition .

The Strokes exhibition was unique. It thrilled me to see the various exhibits .

There were art works of fashionable models in elegant attire . Birds and animals seemed to present themselves in just a few strokes of a brush

Intrigued I asked Ganesh how does he conceptualise this work .

I was under the impression that with a few strokes he developed the drawing at that moment .

He shared his story that , he first looks at what is required of him by a client . He then works around the idea on paper , sometimes about 35 drafts for one product. He selects the most suitable one and then gives it a finish .

His work speaks for him . This latest venture into strokes is most creative . He also exhibited some excellent paintings with various themes .

Ganesh has been an Arts professor for years and many of his students are now renowned artists themselves

He specialises in graphic designing and paintings and has been in this line for the past 40years . We wish him many years of Creativity .

May he inspire all his students to become inspirational like him.

Ganesh’s contact details:

gmtayde20@gmail.com

http://www.ganeshtayde.com

Have you seen the Cookie Jar ?

                         

We visited London on a few occasions . On one of these trips Anthony Bull hosted Anjean and myself. Our daughter Larissa was single and staying with the Bulls ōver the past two years.

Anthony ānd Julie have a loving family  . They are active in Community life . Their interests are varied . Anthony is a senior  professor in Imperial College. He is a sportsman at heart and  very fond of rugby. His keenness to keep fit results  in him riding to the college on his bycycle.

Julie is an engineering scholar. Students of maths have benefited from her proficiency in teaching this subject.  She  has a passion for pottery and  I was  impressed to see some of the crockery in use, which was her handiwork. They have 3 very accomplished children.

 Our stay was short and sweet. But some interesting memories still  linger.

On one of the days the assorted cookie jar was kept for evening tea . I think those cookies were one of the best I’ve had, of different flavours and most enrobed  with chocolate .

Now when the home members had left for work, next morning I began to feel the pangs of hunger by mid-morning. Visions of the delicious cookies came to mind. I searched for the jar and then helped myself to a few.

Later that evening , when all returned from work, Anthony  enquired  “ Lets have some of the cookies”

Wonder of wonders ….the level of the cookies in the jar had reduced considerably .

You can imagine how surprised we all were.

Where did the cōokies disappear… I looked āt Anthony, and saw a faint smile appear …..

“Can you guess who ate the cookies?”

Anthony shared some interesting aspects of his life. His interest in sports led him to work on the study of the cricket bat dimensions . His research on this, led to the standardisation of the bat, based on his inputs.   His efforts on standardisation of the tennis racket however did not progress as  those in authority  did not accept  his inputs. The result of this shows today , as  tennis players use rackets of  various dimensions and materials, which may not heip in keeping  a level playing field.

I was very impressed to hear Anthony’s story of how he met Roger Bannister the famous athlete who was the first to break the sub 4 minute barrier for the mile.

 Lastly I remember their pet cat , Tiger. He adopted them rather than the other way around. Tiger had occupied the premises before Anthony and family had moved in and begun the renovations . Tiger too became a friend and even posed for pictures.

We were grateful to Anthony and Julie for hosting us, but importantly that Larissa had a home to stay during  these few years.

It was lockdown time since April in London due to the Covid 19. Here again Anthony and Julie were a big support to Larissa on her wedding day 21st March 2020 .Larissa wedded Lloyd in a quiet ceremony with only a dozen  guests present in the church. We had already returned to India in November 2019. The plans for an India wedding did not materialize due to the corona virus pandemic.

Anthony has been very active in raising awareness of Mental Health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Through challenges on Facebook, with the pushups , it certainly gives hope at these times of the lockdown and social distancing. Thank you Anthony for this initiative with your brother Andrew, and getting so many involved.

We know that even though Larissa and Lloyd are now settled in their rental apartment, they do have a family who will always reach out to them.

Who  knows , on our next visit we may see some more cookie jars.

Lloyd, Larissa and Catherine with Tiger
Bon Appetit