Dhamu has been my friend for over 50 years. I have several friends who have been with me for 50 years but why do I mention Dhamu specially, you may ask me and I would have said, ‘A good question’. I am a guy who never fails to appreciate a good question particularly when I have no answer for it. I call Dhamu an enigma because all his friends including the undersigned consider him so. What is so mysterious about him? The main reason for it is that he has always remained beyond the spectrum of our understanding. In the initial stages we rated him as merely jovial but when he made statements like ‘only a dog will be born to a dog, not a cat. It is for the cat to produce a cat’, we all laughed heartily at his ability to state a profound truth in such a casual way! In fact, I distinctly remember how there was an hour-long discussion following this statement of his. As we advanced in our age, we started taking note of his words and waiting to catch pearls of wisdom whenever they fell out of his mouth. And let me tell you we were never disappointed by him. The beauty was that he made these statements in a matter of fact way with a very passive countenance. He never had any look of arrogance or superiority on his face when he spilled such thought provoking gems. Last week I saw a yogi lecturing to a massive audience and whenever he made what he considered as witty, he laughed heartily within himself to make sure that the audience did not miss his jovial remark. Dhamu, on the other hand never indulged in such tactics and that made him phenomenally popular. I remember an argument during my club going days when someone asked why we always mixed soda with whiskey and not whiskey with soda. There was hair splitting argument for over an hour on this matter when Dhamu walked in. The question was put to him and pat came his reply, ‘We always mix sambar with rice and not rice with sambar’. There was instantly a deafening silence followed by loud clapping of hands. I am quoting this incident to drive home my point that Dhamu can never be pinned down by a question for which he has no answer. Once we pleaded with him to stand for election as President and Dhamu said, ‘People stand for election so that they can sit comfortably for the term. I would like to sit for election and work for the club standing during the term. So count me out as it is not the practice here’ Dhamu’s wife is intensely unhappy by all the encomiums we shower on him. Once she scolded me saying that he was just half mad when she married him and now we have made him raving mad. I was quite surprised that a man who was revered for his wit in the club could be such a useless man at home and conveyed my views to her. She immediately ground a few teeth menacingly and showed me the door. Running a house is far different from enthralling a band of useless guys in the cub, she said adding that he cannot solve a maths problem of his grandson studying in fourth class. I felt really bad hearing this view about him. And that was the last day that I went to the club!