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Our Host Father: Anandaram Ogoti

To us he is 'Uncle'

sunny 78 °F

He is know on the streets as Ananadram Ogoti, former general for the Revenue Tax Services (RTS) in Calcutta. To some he is the distinguished Rotary Int. Chair for Chennai. To others he is the old chatty neighbor who invites you to his house for tea. To us he is simply - Uncle.

We had the pleasure of staying with Uncle for a full week here in Chennai and followed him around the city. He lives in the quiet residential neighborhood of Anna Nagar. In 2005 his wife passed away - her loss is felt all ove the house. Although he suffered severe depression after his wife's death, Uncle has taken it to revitalize his life and participate actively in the community. Now, he lives as an old bachelor, supported by a family he hires to cook food, clean the home, and chauffeur him places. The house is always full with company wether its the milkman (John F. Kennedy - yes, that is the milkman's name) or family or even a religious leader, he continues to be kind-hearted and social person.

He's an interesting bird.
Sometimes his actions come off as rude or annoying. Ignoring people. Speaking candidly when something bothers him. Rambling without paying attention to who's listening. Moving so incredibly slow when your'e rushing to be somewhere. At moments its hard to live with.

Yet there are moments when he's full of life, beauty, and vulnerability: leaping around the kitchen singing "HARE HARE KRISHNA", passing dirty jokes with a sly wink, falling asleep standing up and having us tuck him into bed, or crying during his wife's death anniversary. These moments make the difficulties of living with him worth every moment.

While we're not living with him any more (we switched host-families for a complex set of reasons), we live next door at his neighbor's place and still visit him often. He often turns to us and says "you young boys give me life!"

It is my hope that these photographs of his home and his family give life to the man that we adore and respect so much.

  • All photos were taken with his permission

Posted by Fabian1993 10:20 Archived in India Tagged #hostfamilies #bacelor #anandaramogoti #uncle

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