Advising is in the Kesavan blood. As a family we are proud of our heritage, proud of our culture, proud of our accomplishments. But, most of all we are proud of the advice that we disperse (freely!).
Grandpa Kesavan used to fill me with stories of how people benefitted from his advice and moved on to great things in life (I used to listen with rapt attention!). Daddy Kesavan is the same (though he regrets that his own son never took his ‘advice’ seriously). Sr Uncle Kesavan and Jr Uncle Kesavan are also the same (and have the same regrets with the 3rd gen!!!).
Grandpa Kesavan once ‘advised’ the Kuwait Investment Authority to come out of their position in IBM. They made a cool $ 32 million on the trade (back in the 80’s). Daddy Kesavan once ‘advised’ his friend’s son who was home sick and wanted to leave Dubai to stay put and ‘fight it out’. Now, that boy is doing very well and has even bought his parents a house.
Sr. Uncle Kesavan once ‘advised’ this young bright chap from the village who was working in a pharmacy to apply for a position as a medical rep. Now that same boy is in senior management with one of the pharma MNCs.
Jr Uncle Kesavan had this friend Vasu who was a cook for Daddy Kesavan’s aunt. One fine day Dad’s cousin came home with some friends who were planning to open a restaurant in Moscow. Vasu had to prepare the lunch. And lo and behold when the ‘payasam‘(Kheer for North Indians) came out the guests were blown away. They immediately offered him a job. Aunt was not too happy so Vasu came to Jr Uncle Kesavan for ‘advice’. “Go for it man”- was the response and so Vasu who’d never been out of his village moved to Moscow. He came home a couple of years back and had this to say- “Jr Uncle Kesavan is God!”
It is natural for people to come to the Kesavans for advice. I’ve had my own share too. I once had this friend who was stuck between 2 choices his father had given him. One was to do the Indian Economic Service exams and the other was to go to UK for his Masters. Poor chap was confused. I broke it down for him simply. “Blonde or Indian boyo? That’s the choice you got to make!” He chose blonde and within 6 months he had his blonde babe!
The other interesting anecdote was this one time with a friend. He had just got married and was about to go for his “Suhaag Raat”. And he’d come to me for advice! The situation was made even more complicated as there was no internet! I think we managed rather well between us. He now has a kid!
Then there was this case recently of a 19 year old that came to me asking for advice on “how to get popular with the ladies”. (Those who know me please don’t laugh!!!) Some idiot had given him the idea that it was as simple as going to a ‘dance-bar’ and “talking” to them. I corrected the poor chap and explained to him what a dance-bar is and that his ‘friend’ was probably referring to a ‘club’. This is still a work in progress and I shall keep you posted.
Then again there was this case where these 2 girls were acting in a play and they were clearly struggling. I came in. “We are not getting this right”- I nodded my head. “We need to change this”- I nodded my head. “We should do this”- I nodded my head. They made the changes and were brilliant. “Oh Ajai- you’re such a great actor, and such such big help. We can’t thank you enough!”(ps: Advising women is easy- they will point their problems and come out with their own solutions. You just need to nod your head and they’ll love you for it. )
So the next time you need advice you know who you should go to!