He was once a business tycoon, an enthusiastic aviator. He also holds the record for gaining the highest possible altitude ever in any hot balloon ride. He holds the record for being the only man to ride a solo trip from UK to India back then in 1998. He is a Padma Bhushan awardee. He was once the chairperson of the governing council of IIM, Ahmedabad. He was once a Sheriff of Mumbai. He holds the honorary rank of an Air Commodore in the Indian Airforce but is now living in ultimate penury battling it out for his mere sustenance in the court of law.
We are talking about the man who transformed the Indian male to The Complete Man, Vijaypat Singhania once the MD and CEO of Raymond apparels. Singhania by his own admissions is now a ‘broke’ and living in a ‘hand to mouth condition’ courtesy his son Gautam Singhania.
This was when Vijaypat Singhania had transferred his shares in Raymond’s apparels worth Rupees 1000 crore to his son Gautam who apparently overlooked him thanklessly.
The bone of contention as being told is the 36-storeyed building, JK house which was the company headquarters and got renovated. The renovation saw 4 duplexes being carved out in the building, which had to be shared between Vijaypat, Gautam and his cousins Akshaypat and Anant Singhania as per the pre-decided arrangements. However, Gautam allegedly turned back on the arrangement and has been occupying all the 4 flats. The senior Singhania dragged his son for his rights in the court and that has allegedly soured the relationship between them.
This week, Mumbai was evident to another harrowing tale of the pathetic condition of senior citizens in our society when the corpse of one Asha Sahni was discovered rotten by his NRI son in her flat who had not spoken to him for the last 16 months.
These two cases highlight the plight of our senior citizens. Their younger generation too has left them in a constant rat race that asks them to move along from their native place in search of greener pastures. The greed for money and pursuit of career seems to have overtaken the bonds of family, something over which our family system was considered superior.
It also may be a reciprocal effect that Gautam Singhania might have grown up seeing Vijaypat Singhania as a straight forward business man who minted nothing other than money. Second important corollary of these two incidents is that the erosion of familial ties has percolated now even the rich class and that is a saddening aspect as it shows that the human greed for money is practically unlimited.
It’s time that the grooming of our kids is reviewed and the old values should be taught so that we can be a pillar of support to those who were once our pillar of support.