No, he was neither our relative nor our friend. He was nothing more than a mere acquaintance who used to live two blocks away from us in a cozy neighborhood. This was about 16 years ago in India.
This tall, well built man was in his 50s at that time. He was always in ragged clothes and his hair was always undone. We didn’t know much about him other than the fact that he was heir to millions and had a “mental disability” that is not congenital.
Our families never met. Nor did we have any common friends. The only reason we know he existed is because he used to take strolls around our house almost every day. Everytime he passed by us, he would smile and wave.
One random weekend he knocked at our door and instructed my dad (in a friendly way) that he would like to eat breakfast at our house on the following Monday at 8.00 AM. My dad could not help but blindly comply. There was something about his personality and his commanding yet friendly voice that my dad couldn’t say no. As a matter of fact, all of us would willingly await his arrival. And as promised, he would show up on time and quietly nosh down the breakfast. Thank the host and be on his way.
This continued for some time. And as time went by, we have grown to admire him. Despite his mental situation, his mannerisms showed royalty. It was quite apparent that he may have been an important person at some point in time. We do not know what caused him to be in the situation that he was in.
We never had any small talk with him during these endeavors. It was strictly business! He would show up, enjoy the breakfast, thank the host and be on his way.
Eventually, we have stopped seeing him, not even on his usual walks. We learnt that he was not keeping well. And that was the last of him.
We still do not know what happened to him. We often wonder if he survived whatever it was he was suffering from. Nonetheless, he made such a huge impact in our lives that we still remember him in a nostalgic way. We still admire him and his charismatic and amicable personality.
This post is dedicated to this noble man, who remained a mystery to this day!!