I am blessed and honoured to have known Carlton, who was a dear and trustworthy friend of my parents. I will never forget the risks he took when my father passed away under mysterious circumstances. While everyone was running around like headless chooks due to the confusion and mayhem of my father's passing, Carlton was very much at work in the background - digging, probing and investigating the circumstances that led to my father's demise. And now looking back in hindsight, he risked his life considering the dangerous, unsavoury, unscrupulous and criminal elements involved in dad's death. So it is with good reason that I consider him a 'fearless man with nerves of steel". And to coin the phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword", it was with surgical precision that Carlton struck each and every person down through his editorials and newspaper articles regarding the people that were responsible for my dad's death. In tribute, I salute you and applaud you Carlton. It is very rare to see real men like yourself. And it was an honour to have known you and have a friend like you. May God Bless you always and may your soul rest in peace. You will always be missed, loved and remembered.
Though his smile is gone forever And his hand we cannot touch; Still we have so many memories Of our brother whom we love so much. His memory is our keepsake With which we will never part; God has him in His keeping, We have him in our hearts. Happy Birthday Carl....wish you were here with us.
We who love you sadly miss you, As it dawns another year, In our lonely hours of thinking, Thoughts of you are ever near. You are not forgotten brother, Nor will you ever be...... As long as life and memories last We will remember thee. We miss you in so many ways, We miss the things you used to say.... And when old times we do recall, It's then we miss you most of all. Rest in peace Carl......you are forever in my memories & prayers. I love you always and forever.
Tea time was a bit of a ritual in our house. Tea had to be served at 3 O'Clock every day or dad would yell out "it's Tea O'Clock!'. Of course whether he got his tea on time or not depended on mum's mood, so he had to be on his best behaviour! After many years of mum serving him his tea, dad finally learned to make his own cup of chai. And then the tables were turned - mum got served her tea instead. Dad loved making tea and insisted that it be soaked for exactly three minutes and not boiled like 'dhaba chai'. He's pour the hot water over the tea leaves in the tea pot and let it soak for exactly three minutes, before serving up with milk and sugar. I never had a cup of his tea as I'd already left home and was working in Dubai when he took to the kitchen, but mum, who always filled me in on what dad was up to, swears he made a jolly good cuppa.
My recollection of Carl from our school days is that he always had a unique sense of humour which he maintained despite his illness.After several years we renewed contact and his email in answer to mine expressed surprise that I sang briefly in a group in London most of the songs..........of course Elvis.! I never had you down as an Elvis fan Mike always thought you were a 'crooner' churning out those Pat Boone ballards. At least he did not have to convert me!!
Reading the newspapers every Sunday morning is something that comes straight to mind.. Daddy and his pile of every English newspaper the city published by his side... I'd try to sneak one out and he'd say " I haven't read that one as yet" Then he'd hand me the comic page!!! hahaha, he knew what I was after.. He loved the fact that we'd sit around with him reading his newspapers, a habit I still have, even though I'll go straight for the comic page first :) Also when he would write his articles he would get me to read it out loud to him at least three times... I still remember him typing away and then calling me and saying " just read this". I loved to read them... I would die laughing half the time and he would quietly smile knowing that he had done a good job. The purpose of making me read his articles over and over again, now when I look back was to teach me how to write properly. I owe my English reading and writing skills and sense of humour to you dad even though I would never be half as good as you were. Thank you.
In my growing up years, Dad never had the pleasure of finding his slippers under his bed when he returned home from a hard days work. That's where he would leave them when he changed into his impeccably polished shoes for work. The minute he would head out the door, I would slip into his slippers. For some reason, I always loved to walk around in his oversized slippers with the heels jutting way out behind my considerably smaller feet. He was a size 9, I think, and I a mere 3 or so at the time. His big slippers just felt incredibly comfortable. When dad was on evening shift, he'd come home by around 9 at night and go straight to his bed to change into his slippers and I'd hear "who's taken my slippers?" He knew full well who had taken them, but this was a ritual on all the days he was on evening shift. When I heard him, I'd scurry into the room, kick his slippers off near him and take off again. What a pain I was! On the days he was on night shift, I got to keep his slippers all evening as we'd be asleep when he'd return. Now when I find my slippers missing from my bedside, I yell at the kids. One of them will have inadvertently kicked them under the bed while playing nearby. When I lose my temper, I think of dad. What patience he must have had. Why did he never tire of me taking his slippers and ban me from touching them? In Nov 2008 when I went home to bury him, I slipped into his slippers one last time, but he just lay there lifeless. I'm taking your slippers, dad I told him.
Memories - Boy which one to pick! Yes, there are so many but these are some that really stand out for me- and that is Carlton,being my younger brother, always came to me seeking advice. Being me I would often give him the wrong advice and watch him get into trouble over it. Then there was this one - We were all invited to a party in Patna and Carlton as always was dressed in full black-head to toe. During the evening people would get up on a platform and perform some song. Well Carlton got up to perform his version of Elvis. During the shaking and rolling he rolled right off the platform and popped his ankle! Lucky for us a doctor was there too and he popped the ankle back into place. Poor Carl was sidelined for the rest of the evening. Who ever knew Carl also knew his knack of getting into a lot of trouble. One day while we were all in the house the front door burst open and Carl came flying through yelling - "Close the door and call the police!" We just got the door bolted when a gang of young guns started banging on the door asking for us to turn Carl over to them. Dad very calmly told them that the police were on their way and that they can ask them for the favor!! With that they quickly took off and Dad wasted no time in getting Carl on to the train and off to Lucknow. Yes, that was how he ended up living in Lucknow where the rest is history. Yes, he may be gone but in spirit he is still with us and is having a darn good laugh at the lot of us. Brother, remember the argument we had - I was to go before you but you pulled a fast one on me and took your exit first! why did you leave us so soon I miss you, your smile and that laugh, so very much!! Looking forward to seeing you again some day.
Memories......there are so very many, how is it possible to list them all. Growing up with Carl as my brother was the very best thing that could have been handed to me. He was funny, helpful and always full of advice. It was his funny side that I loved the most (his advice was beginning to get a bit too pricy for me LOL:). It was very surprising to me on our visit to India in 2001, that Carl even remembered my utter fear of "creepy crawly" creatures. One night when I had climbed into bed, he came upstairs with Erle and I recall giving him crap for climbing up all those stairs. Well, he had his reasons.....he had given Erle a plastic snake, with instructions to throw it at me and stand by and watch the fun. We-e-e-l-l-l, to them it was hilarious, but to me.....I screamed, dusted frantically and jumped all the way across the other beds in the room and made a quick exit. Oh yes, I have that memory so vivid in my mind, and the sound of Carl's laughter is so very clear. God, I do so miss you brother. Why did you have to go so soon..........we had just only gotten back together after so many many years.
Dad's dream was to have all his family live together in one big house. He was never quite the practical sort! He wanted this great big house, so all his children and their families could live together and be close to him. He even dreamed up what it would look like - a big compound surrounded by units that would be occupied by our respective families. No kidding, he really thought that would happen some day if he persevered enough. That was how much family mattered to him. What he did not count on was life taking us all down different paths, to different parts of the world, miles and miles away from him and mum. I remember the day I announced to him that I was leaving to come to the Middle East. I had a job offer in hand. I was going to be a journalist in the UAE. Although I expected no kudos from him, what he said made me quite mad and caused me to stomp out of the room. "You're committing professional suicide, you know that." I just stared at him, said not a word and walked out. I was an idiot. He did not deserve that. He was right. I knew that. But even while he hurt me, I was not quite sure I wanted to leave. I wanted him to reassure me that I was doing the right thing. But who was I kidding. Dad minced no words, said it like it was. He said exactly what I knew he would say, and that's why it hurt. But it pains me today to think of how I treated him. perhaps a civilised discussion would have helped. Not that I would have changed my mind, but at least I would not be regretting treating him like that today. Lesson learnt, but alas too late. Words once spoken, cannot be taken back. Actions cannot be undone. That was 14 years ago. Of course that little spat was short-lived and we made up. Dad finally even agreed that perhaps my moving out might have been a good thing after all. The UAE is not a bad place to be, it's unlike any other place in the Gulf. I regret though that dad never visited Dubai. It would have changed his perception entirely. I made a couple of home videos which he watched with interest, but did not have the chance to do much more. Regrets overwhelm me. Death has cheated me of some very special times with my dad. And even more sadly, my children will never know their grandfather.
It's been only three years but God knows it feels like ten, since you had to leave us. We miss you so much and not a day goes by when I don't think of you. I know you are with me and are watching over me. I hope to meet again, I cant wait.
I never got much chance to know Uncle Carl very well..but i do remember very clearly that every time i would go to visit aunt Audrey and uncle Carl at their Indira nagar house, i was welcomed with a very bright smile by uncle Carl and he would tell aunt Audrey to make coffee and bring some cookies..now every time he would tell aunt Audrey to bring cookies, we would only get coffee, when this happened many a times, i asked aunt Audrey to please at least let me eat those cookies once, which uncle Carl keeps talking about, well it seems they were not brought out because he actually wanted to eat them and since he had diabetes he was not allowed to eat it, he would ask me to remind aunt Audrey to bring it, and we would all have a hearty laugh.....and he would say wait till Christmas, she will definitely bring it out than......i wish i had met him earlier....
Granded was a fine old man. He hated to fly but loved to have visitors. He never talked to me much, but he loved to be in his night suit and he loved his arm chair. I loved to visit him and I loved his dog Flash. I remember his big glasses and his green eyes. If he was alive I would love to spend some more time with him. But sadly that will never happen. I miss him.
Dad's birthday has just come and gone. I fumbled with my phone and toyed with his number which I still have listed as "Dad". I rang it nonetheless. When he died I wanted to put the phone in his coffin so I could still call him, throwing reason to the wind as is wont to happen when grief takes a strong grip of you. It would discharge in no time so what was the point; but I was not thinking; just gripping at straws to stay in touch with daddy. Every year, I'd call him to say "happy birthday". And that makes me feel so guilty now. Why did I not ever fly down to be with him? I was always so busy! If only I could turn back the clock. But then I did not know the end was coming so soon. Did anyone? Anyways, the point of this post was something else. I just read about a device called the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD). You could google it and find out more. The article was about a boy whose heart failed and he was brought back with this device. It brough tears to my eyes and I could not stop thinking of the possibilities. If only we had access to this then. I have no doubt the LVAD could have saved dad's life. I remember talking to him about surgery quite a few times on the phone, but his answer was always a stubborn "I'm not going under the knife" and "what's the point, the survival rate of heart transplants is ver low"; wasting valuable time when he was healthy and strong enough to withstand surgery. But in the months before he died he seemed to have a change of heart; he was more receptive to the idea. And ith the LVAD, a transplant is not nescessay! You can stay on the LVAD forever. I was going down in Dec 2008 with all intentions of exploring all possible means of sorting him out. If surgery it had to be, I'd pull all stops to make it happen. I wanted to know so much more about his condition; I'd read up so much on the internet and believed I could make a difference. I was dreaming of playing God. Big mistake. He soon put me in my place. Dad was gone in a flash and I was left numbed with shock and all alone in a hotel in far-away Dhaka. I was there, ironically, for the inauguration of a hospital ship sponsored by my company, that boasted facilities for heart surgery. The irony made me so angry, I ripped the sheets off the bed. Was this some kind of joke? Why could he not wait a while. Trust him to do something like this. I was mad at dad, I was mad at God, I was mad at my job for taking me so far away and I was mad with myself for not going home sooner. My only thought was to get the hell out of there and to Lko as soon as I could; this our country manager arranged for me within half an hour. Ungrateful me forgot to even thank him for that feat, but I was too grief-striken to think of niceties like that, and I'm sure he understood. Dad was dead and lying in a mortuary; I kept putting the picture out of my mind just to stay sane. We were going home for Christmas were we not? Christmas will NEVER be the same again. Memories of Christmases past come flooding back - the red, white and blue streamers, the pains dad would take to get them just right and the instructions meeted out to mum to hang them just the way he wanted. It was always red, white and blue! I hated them! Why can't we have another colour? He'd just say "Nah..." I like red, white and blue! Simple as that. The make-shift Christmas trees, the gifts, the stories about Santa and how he'd give us a go if we were not good. Now I realise just how much effort it all took, It's my turn now to recreate those memories for my kids so they'll have good memories when they grow up. And it's not easy...I could not bear to listen to carols or Christmas songs last year. I pray that that will change for the sake of my family. Time, they say, helps you come to terms with loss, and I'm waiting... Happy Birthday dad! I'll always miss you...
I remember when we were young and Carl was courting Audrey, he had the misfortune of coming over when only the four little (the four young ones) were at home (Manavar’s house) Just before he called we were singing to keep ourselves happy and out of mischief. In this happy mood we got after him to sing for us, even though he said he couldn’t sing at all. We pestered him into doing so and he began singing ‘Mother of mine’. We couldn’t believe our ears, we looked at each other and began giggling. We just couldn’t control ourselves. Carl stopped singing and said, “See, I told you I couldn’t sing.’ With tears streaming down our faces, we kept urging him to complete the song, and being a sport, he did. But this is not all we will remember him for. Carl might not have had a singing voice, but he could keep you in splits for hours. He had a unique talent – he could make a pen speak volumes like no other. People loved to read his articles and will always remember JAYWALKER, the name under which he wrote.
This is how I remember Carl. He was a family man. A strict dad and brother-in-law to me. He believed since he had married the eldist daughter in the house he took dads place when dad was not around. I remember him sitting in my house in Mahanagar (this is after I was married) with Vanessa who was 10 months old in his lap. Now Vanessa at that age had a language of her own that she just rambled off at any thing and any one, not leaving out her U/Carl.. Now Carl is a pretty tall man and Vanessa just a little thing sitting on his knee giving it to him in her own language . Now Carlton sitting in a recliner , in splits of laughter , laughing his hearty laugh like no one had ever heard before, definatelly not me. Now this went on for quite a while till we got tired . Carlton only had to say to vanessa and then what happened darling and Vanessa would start all over again. Audrey I am sure you would remember this great time we had together. Denise, Brenda Dexter and Erle too should remember. This is how I remember Carlton. Oh now things are coming back to me, I remember Carltons favourate Chips yes chips not just the ordinary potato chips but Yam chips and I was the one to make them for him. These are just a few thoughts that come to mind
Memories come flooding into my mind when I think of Carl. It is difficult to put any of them down, as all are so precious. So I will select one with a light touch to it. Everyone who knows Carl, is very aware of his passion for Elvis and his songs. When we were young, I liked Pat Boone and Carl and I would have little tiffs about both these singers. One day, Carl decided that "enough was enough" so he locked me in the bathroom and refused to open it and let me out, till I said that I liked ELVIS better than Pat Boone.Believe me when I say this, I ended up saying that I liked Elvis!!!! Oh, here is another one of his favourites. He was taking me to the School bus-stop , when I was studying in Patna. We were having our School Fete that day and my Dad had forgotten to give me money to spend. At the bus-stop I told Carl that Dad said he had to give me Rs. 2/- and I made sure to say it loud enough for his "girl friend" to hear it. Ofcourse, how could he refuse then!!!! Out came the money and I took it very happily. He never got it back and till the end, he always told me ,"Colleen, the interest rate is going up on the Rs.2/- that I gave you." Yes Carl, I keep hearing that sentence ever so often even to this date and it brings a smile to my face as I still recall the look on yours when you said this last Christmas and that was the last time you ever said them. Bye, see you in Heaven !
Thanks Krish, Kitty,and Clint for your beautiful tributes to Dad (Krish), and Uncle Carl. Mum, and Auntie Audrey.
Remember "pay day? Dad would hand us three (Buj was not part of this story till much later!) our "salaries" on the 1st of every month. All of one rupee!! Dex and Erle always made a bee line for the halwai (Indian sweet) shop just outside the gate of our compound, and I would promptly slip my one buck into my "gullak" (mudden money box for all you foreigners to the Indian language culture and tradition). Needless to say my rupees added up finally, but I suspect Dex and Erle might have had a better time after all:) The halwai guys (Katthu and Harbance were their names) had a deal with dad - one buck should pay for everything his sons wanted! Katthu knew exactly when Dexter and Erle would waltse into the shop with their pocket money for the month - it was a private joke between them and dad! A special table was always reserved for the pair of them - they'd sit like big shots and place their order. Of course, one rupee was never enough to pay for all they ate, but the halwai guys would just feed them all they wanted (I suspect dad made good later). On many occassions dad accompanied the boys (I was never part of this extravagance - it was striclty boy-time.) I remember haggling with dad for an "increment". It was not easy, and I had to convince him what I would do with the money. Save it of course, I told him. Satisfied, he raised my salary to five bucks!! I felt so rich!! Of course Dexter could not be left out of this bonanza so he too got the raise - because we were the bigger ones. Erle continued to get his old "pay" till he wisened up (many, many years later!!) We received two more "increments which took our pocket money up to 25 rupees. And then dad decided we were old enough to earn our own keep!! But the exercise did teahc me the value of money. Not sure about the boys though. they still think one buck can take them a long way...lol!!!
When dad was the Editor of the National Herold, the family newspaper of Jawaharlal Nehru, I remember how once he came back from work and was very angry and restless. It was Diwali time and some slime balls had put together a magazine of what dad called "filth" and were going to publish it with monetary aid from the Chief Minister of U.P. There was no way he was going to allow the character of real people to be shredded in such a fashion. The CM would not speak to him and so dad being dad found out when the CM would be passing through Hazartgunj and within no time had at least a hundred people sitting across the road to block the CM's convoy. It was hilarious and the first time I got to sit in the middle of the road! The police were there in full force but even they seemed to want to stand back and watch the fun. Erle' I'm sure you remember that. Remember when Mulayam Singh Yadav (the Chief Minister) actually came out of his car surrounded by his black cats to speak to daddy and you and I couldn't see him because he was so small!!!! I asked dad where the CM was and in the middle of that mad rush and extreme chaos he found to the time to say " Look really hard he IS down there somewhere" Needless to say that the publication of that magazine was stopped. One more victory to make society a better place. That was the kind of man dad was. He'd do anything he had to to make his voice heard. Most of the time he would use his pen which was his weapon against anyone who thought they were above the law.
I remember the day, my dad passed away and I had not even met my father in law yet....But he called me and said " Krish its hard to loose a father, but you know its lucky to have one still alive..." It did not mean a lot to me that day but later on when we started sharing a lot of phone calls and emails I realised how lucky I was. Its not very often that you find your father in law replace your fathers loss...but I was. He helped me get over the pain and helped me understand what a beautiful place my dad has gone to. I remember his description of heave. " Beautiful garden full of carnations with one bright light on the other end...and my dad standing next to the light looking down at me...." Though he was pretty sure my dad had become a lawyer to god by now..." Whenever I visited him, we would be sitting next to each other, while he would start debating with me for something. And he would be just laughing while I rest my case to him.....he loved the debates...I never thought I would miss him as much as my DAD. But I do...His last picture in me is of the last day I left Lucknow, he was not well but he came to reach to the Gate, gave me a kiss on my head. He waved me good bye and I felt like not going anywhere.
Yes Erle, Dad might have thought Elvis was the King, but he was pretty clear who the King of Kings was!! I remember him asking me once "Do you know who the King of Kings is?" Pat came my reply "Elvis". He had a hearty chuckle. "It's Christ silly!" he said when he could stop laughing!! Well, don't blame me for thinking Elvis was "it"!! We grew up thinking there was no other singer worth the name! Talk about idol worship, we had a life-sized poster of Elvis in the drawing room and framed pictures of him in every other room. Dad once had me beliveing he was our "Uncle" Elvis! Just like he had me belive Carlton Hotel was his! But that's another story for another day.. The only day I remember dad coming home early from work was when Elvis died. I think he cried! He and mum were solemn and silent locked away in their room. We were in the Jail Road house and Elvis was mourned like he was a very close member of the family. The other time dad cried was when our lovely sheep dog Peter died. Dad dug his grave with his own hands (he could very well have had the servants do it, but did'nt) next to the house (Jail Road) and burried him. Not sure if you boys will remember, Buj certainly won't! It was a horrible day and I still don't like thinking of it. It's heart wrenching to see a grown man go to pieces over a dog like that!! But Peter was a very special part of our family. The dog looked after Dex and me in the Lalbagh house like a nanny, catching us by the pants and pulling us back into the house if we stepped over the threshold! (Dad told me that, I was too tiny to remember). Peter came with us to Jail Road where he was run over by a Home Guard trying to get revenge on Dad for some reason. Anyway, Dad got him good for that, but the damage was irreparable.. So many more memories come flooding back once I start thinking and I'm sure you guys will have plenty to add...please do. It'll be wonderful hearing from everyone...
A couple of months before he passed away, Dad mentioned to me about how I should live my life. But Dad acknowledged the fact that he lived his youth by the power of the fist but was quick to acknowledge that that was the ‘wrong’ way. He said, ‘In my time you hit a man and you could stand and look at him run down the street. Today you hit a man and you find yourself looking down the barrel of a gun”. I wonder why he chose to preach to a peaceful guy like me? Mentioning his near-death experience a few years ago he acknowledged that there was definitely a miracle that saved him when Reverend Lancy prayed over him in the hospital and he sat up a few minutes later and asked for his comb. He surprised everyone even the doctors. He mentioned to me his latest ‘pet’ hymn – ‘The Impossible Dream’ and advised me to try to live accordingly. Surprisingly he remembered the lyrics and mentioned the parts he liked most: This is my quest: To follow a star, no matter how hopeless no matter how far. To fight for the right without question or pause To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause To try when my arms are too weary To go where the brave dare not go. And I know if I can only be true to this glorious quest, That my heart will rest peaceful and calm When I’m laid to my rest And the world will be better for this That one man, scorned and covered with scars Still strove with his last ounce of courage To reach the unreachable star. I guess that pretty much summed up how he lived his life right till the end. Taking a dialogue from a movie I watched with him at home I would like to request all who knew him. “When someone asks you how he died, teach them instead how he lived.” Fondly remembered by Donovan (who still firmly believes that 'Big Dada' is still the 'New Santa'), Daughter-in-law Sonya and me.
That's true! We always tried to map ourselves after him in some way or another. He was an icon for many, not only within the family, but outsiders as well. I still remember the number of people that streamed through our house looking for journalistic advice that could boost their careers. A fraction of them remembered him on his passing away though. It's a sad fact that gratitude is not something in abundance these days. He spent his life trying to make a difference in society through his writings. "He Dreamed the impossible dream!" We had a wonderful life. Not perfect, but wonderful! We all have our little memories that will keep him alive for as long as we live. Those comics that came home with him every night was something we relished. We would all stay awake late into the night just waiting for Daddy to come home with his hands full of Archies, Asterix & Obelix or Superhero comic books. His departure for work every day was followed by shrieks of "bring me some comics", very unlike the normal kid who would call for a chocolate bar or sweets. That is one thing I will always be grateful for. I suppose this was his way of keeping us in touch with the English language, knowing he and Mummy had to work long hours (to make ends meet) and we would generally be left in the care of the Aiyah (Maidservant) and would spend a lot of time with non-English speaking kids in the neighborhood. We moved around a lot… Remember Jailroad and Dalibagh!? I still do, and the memories of those days will remain with me forever. Starts kinda like the essay, doesn't it? LOL Dad said Elvis was the King, I say Dad was the Emperor!
Hoping my ex school teachers wont be reading this, I just wanted to tell everyone how dad had once written an essay for someone I cannot mention, who went on to win an All India essay contest!! While this person was enjoying the glory and size of this massive trophy he got to bring home, I on the side was learning off by heart the essay written by dad. i still remember most of it to this day. This is how it started. "Remember Heroshima and Nagasaki? Many people do and many more are still suffering after 45 years of the twin holoclaust" Erle, remember that??? Anyway, I learnt it off by heart and reproduced it at school and scored an A+ which made dad really proud only that he did not know it was his work that scored an A+!! When I told him he laughed his sides out and I can never forget that laugh. I always scored the highest in English essays at school and it was not until the end of class 10 that dad came to know that I was actually learning off some of his sentences and phrases and using them as my own in school, which I have to say made my English teacher think I was a genius! If anyone else out there has anything nice to share with us all it would be really appreciated and a fantastic opportunity to come together in daddy's name and recreate all those lovely memories.