Perhaps, it may be a bit early to write a blog when obituaries and eulogies have not totally ceased. Nevertheless! The guy is dead and gone and he had left a decent bounty that he would not have made if he had not chosen politics as a career.
How far did he get in up the ladder? Well he was the councilor of a city ward. That is a not an awfully exalted position by the way. If you ask about his education, I seriously doubt if he reached near matriculation.
He was born to poor subsistence labourer parents in a hamlet few kilometers to the north, outside the city. I guess he lost his father very early, for when I saw him first as a boy of ten or eleven he and his mother had moved into a single room –makeshift home in a rundown apartment near my house in the town. She eked out living by doing menial work and chores at different homes in the neighbourhood.
He was certainly unable to cope with school and was an indifferent student. Later when he dropped out of school, or as some say when he decided that he cannot pursue school exams with moderate marks to pass, his distant uncle took him into his fold as an errand boy at the Lawyer’s office where the former was an aid.
He was dark skinned and was muscular for his age. Even at the age of thirteen or fourteen he had strong limbs and broad chest. He excelled in Kabaddi kicking opponents down and tackled mercilessly and roughly while playing football. Kids, skinny as I was stood not even a fortuitous chance confronting him at Football or Kabaddi. He simply elbowed us down, jostled us flat as a beaten pan. I remember he was merciless. His career graph I presume was aided by that quality, to take his rivals head on and bulldoze his way. He must have been tactful in later life. Some say, people preferred to not confront him and let him have his run.
The eulogies that came from political bigwigs who flocked to his house hearing his sudden death was enviously rattling and umbrageous too. “His early inspiration for public service came while he was a student”, the State president of his party, clad in white spotless cotton fabric remembered him. “That was when he joined the student wing of the party and became an active and dedicated party loyalist.” Some spoke about his foresight, his uncanny acumen, his passion to toil for the needy, the poor and the marginalised. The paeans seemed endless. Every day after he was dead, local vernacular dailies carried his picture and a glowing obituary.
When he died he was on the director board of a cooperative bank, (what he knew of banking and the cooperative movement is mystery. His middle school education was not a constraint. But then we have a plus two dame running the country’s Education and Human resource ministry), he was the party district secretary, he was nominated to the University senate (again defying the pathetic limit of his education), and he was the president or treasurer of the local temple (where, locals allege in almost muted tone that he was in cahoots with God and made enough from the temples revenue). Above all he had always put his money on the political party horse that won. He, in the little world of politics that he could travel, always ensured that his finger was in the pie.
If he did not achieve greater success or amass more wealth than he did, it must be because that there were bigger chisellers in the party than he. It is astonishment unrivalled that if an ordinary political party member who could go no farther than being elected councilor of a ward, could generate as much wealth as he could, the extent of booty that bigger sharks in politics siphon off is impossible to gauge.