Dad,Aroon, would have been 85 today ~ An Epitome of Always being Upright & Content & Humble ~ and ‘A’ in both Name & Spirit
Proud of my Middle Name ‘A’ ~ always flaunt it on my Visiting Card and Email & Other Communications
Dad’s Life was IndianOil who he served loyally for @ 30 years having helped set it up ~ Earlier in the 1950’s he was with Standard Vaccuum that was renamed Esso and which we finally know as HPCL today ~ A Decade into Post Independence,India set up IndianOil and Dad sacrificed his multi perked MNC Job to patriotically join the fledgling IndianOil and was initially responsible for setting up West Zone,travelling three weeks in the month….he rose through the ranks donning various roles in Marketing,Supply ,Distribution & Commercial
He was incorruptible in a Sector where Corruption was easily induced and even became a norm where Hundreds of Millions of Dollars of Oil & Gas Trade & Supply & Distribution Contracts & Petrol Station Licensing was involved !
He was the Icon of Integrity in IndianOil and all looked up and revered him ~ one clerk recalled how Dad had reached his humble ‘basti’ abode in the early 1970’s unannounced one evening to congratulate him on his upcoming wedding which he would not have been able to attend as he would be travelling on office work…there was no chair to sit and dad simply sat down on a metal trunk and had some ‘chai’ offered and considerably eased the air
There were several instances,some really high profile,which I can easily recall, where he has shunned millions offered to show bias and favouritism despite great pressure ~ I used to joke with him “Dad if you had ,we’d be staying in Switzerland!” 🙂 …and he would just smile contently
I mention this in context and light of the unprecedented corruption in the Oil & Gas Sector that our Country has been plagued with especially after Privatisation in this Segment
….However all the pressures indeed had taken a toll on his health…after three strokes at Age 38,48 and 58 he passed away on the fourth at Age 68 in 1998,ten years after retiring from IndianOil in 1988 and refusing to take lucrative Consultancy and representative Offers from Foreign and Indian Private Oil & Gas Majors like many of his colleagues did
….he was the happiest when IndianOil gifted him a HMT Watch for 25 years of service and he could never understand how post modern reforms in early 1990s young finance professionals were getting salaries of lakhs in months and years when he received just two lakhs or so as pension on retirement…though he never grudged this
…he and all of us in the family were also happiest when every year he planned a month long LTC Holiday for all of us somewhere in India …his planning was meticulous and we have been from Kashmir to Kanyakumari often by road in our Fiat Car staying at Circuit and Indian Oil Guest houses !…the experience was simply stunning….putting ice from a Shimoga Ice Factory on top of our car roof on a makeshift cane carpet to ensure the car did not get heated up in Summer or when the radiator fan broke and every five minutes while negotiating the uphill road to Ooty late night I had to venture into the Nilgiri Hills Forest ,scared of snakes and reptiles,to refill a jerry can of water to calm a crazy boiling radiator
To say I am,in fact all my Family is, Proud and Humbled by such an Upright & Content Man is truly a great understatement
Dad,they don’t make like you Anymore !
You’d have been a misfit in this Corrupt ,Communal & Criminal Era !
Miss You Dad !