We all need a “Vijay Uncle” in our lives; I’m proud to say I got to meet him once at SASA 2004, in Houston, Texas.
From the moment I met him, the warmth of his personality just put me at ease. And he was on a mission to encourage the students to become bone marrow donors.
I forget most of his pitch, but he cheekily said something along the lines, “you can even become a marrow donor if you’re hungover,” the students just laughed so hard.
He was easy to talk to; we kept bumping into each other at the conference; I was working for a South Asian media website that was the grand sponsor of the event. We got to know each other.
I was at a low point in my early 20s; I had Vijay Uncle as a friend on MySpace. I don’t know what made me do it, but I opened up to him and came out to him; he told me his son was gay, and he even offered to go out of his way to explain to an individual that there is nothing wrong with their child being gay.
I was touched he offered to help, but I told him it is just best to let things be, and I had to move on.
But I will never forget that; a few years ago, this video popped up on my Facebook and brought me to tears. It’s a very emotional and loving tribute a father can give to his son.
Thank you, Vijay Uncle, for being you.