September 17th was a date all of us at the Tinkle office eagerly looked forward to. It was the birthday of Mr. Anant Pai, our Founder and first Editor, popularly known as Uncle Pai.
Many from the staff have fond memories of the day. They remember going to his house for some warm and hearty lunches. Mrs. Pai would prepare many mouth-watering dishes and then sing Uncle Pai’s favourite songs with him. He was a fan of K.L. Saigal’s, a renowned singer and actor of the 1930s and 40s. When Uncle Pai celebrated his birthdays in office, Mrs. Pai sent across jalebis and vada pav she made at home for the entire office. It was a day he spent answering hundreds of phone calls from friends, well-wishers and readers.
His eightieth birthday was a big day for all of us. We asked Uncle to say a few words on the occasion. He quoted a shloka, kindly translated its meaning for us, wished us all well and then cut the cake. We presented him with a gigantic greeting card on which each one of us had written a message to him. And by the way, we also cut a cake for Mrs. Pai, for you see, she shares his birthday!