For months now, I have been wanting to write about people around me, who make a small difference. Some make small, almost invisible differences in their own lives, some in those of the others. All, however, make this world a better place — the one in which laughter has a place, and so does love and security. I kept postponing this post, because there were so many other things I wanted to talk about, too. I kept telling myself: “Next time; they’re not going anywhere.”

But for me, this post is now never going to be the same – whenever I write it – because one man I wanted to mention in it died this morning of a heart attack. He was 55, and raring to go.

Vinay Mama, one of my mother’s four brothers was a man of his own principles and sense of honour. He was a man of indescribable compassion and care. He meant to us children of the family much more than just an uncle.

Leaving the traditional (and safe) path of a salaried job, he decided to cultivate the land of his forefathers. That was two years back. Today, his farm is teeming with bananas and vegetables. He had got it going, despite the warning of most. People try to tell you it can’t be done, because they cannot do it themselves. Mama was among the few, who proved them wrong. Juggling between a job and farming wasn’t easy, but he did it. The bank he worked for officially released him for retirement yesterday. He was now going to have all the time in world for taking care of his dream. But it was not to be.

Vinay mama.

To him I dedicate this day. To you, I introduce a man, whose story I shall tell when I come back to blogging. Until then, please keep loving, and showing it. And pray for a soul, who could have given a lot more here on earth, than many others put together.

Vinay Mama with his wife, Rashmi Mami -- proud owners of this banana farm. This photo was taken last July on a monsoony morning.