When Brother Joseph called me and said that there was a birthday party hosted by his younger brother at the Country Cub on the 22nd, I expected it to be a small affair. Brother's birthday is on the 21st of January and I realised that he shares it with Baig sir, another of my great teachers! I remember that Joseph. Joel and me were out there at Joseph's house in Habsiguda celebrating Brother Joseph's 70th five years ago. Seems like a long time has passed.
|Me, Brother Joseph. D Ravi and Joel|
Joel and I went early and had a cup of chai outside, before going in. Not many people were there, some family members. Brother Joseph is the third in a family of eleven siblings (eight brothers and three sisters I think), a couple of them are here in Hyderabad. 'We are a cricket team, with a coach and a manager,' he smiled broadly. Brother came soon after and Joseph Fernandes as well.
|A lovely pic|
Ananya Brother Joseph's niece who is studying medicine (and works at the ESI Hospital now) was compering the show and she told me I had to raise a toast. I never raised a toast in my life and all my plans of hanging in the background and doing my own thing vanished. I quickly pulled up all the old blogs I had written about Brother to refrsh my memory about some old stories and found quite a few.
|Me, Brother K M Joseph and Joel|
The event got underway soon, some talks, prayers, my toast where I spoke about Brother and his contribution to holistic education because he believed in sports being a part of our education. He was our 'Cricket Brother', someone who was always there, who was better than us at most sports (he can whip us even now on most fields). I recalled stories of his humility (how he wrote to a parent with he he had a fight and apologised, something which the parent can never forget), his love for his students (how he arranged special classes for a particularly notorious classes and they studied everyday from 3 pm to 11pm and most passed), his tough love (dropping Shahid Akbar for some poor behavior), his ways of growing children (how his students raised money for a leper colony), his philosophy of separating the act from the child (never make the person wrong, correct the action). I read out the poem I wrote to him when Suresh wanted to honour him with a plaque and ended it. Of course I would not be able to do justice to his contribution to our growth how much ever I spoke! One thing I forgot to mention - he always treated us equally - whether it was Azhar or me or Joel - the same!
|Dr Arun, Joseph Fernandes, Brother K M Joseph, me and Joel|
Apart from his family, some students, some Brothers from Montfort, there were some celebrities like PR Man Singh, manager of the 83 World Cup team who came with his son Vikram, D Ravi, Secretary, Economic Relations, Arun, ortho surgeon. We raised a toast and Brother and I got to drink some wine while we watched an AV on his life with wishes from family and friends and pictures from his life. Then some speeches and songs and then drinks and socialising. It was a lovely evening and I was so happy to be part of it.
I had to leave a bit early owing to a situation at home when some guests were waiting but what a lovely evening! Thank you Brother for all the guidance and the great times and like your family members said, a hundred is yours for the taking.
While on the subject, here are some of the old blogs I wrote about Brother K M Joseph.