It was way back in the early 1970s that I remember seeing this then long haired cousin of mine, Belle Ravindranath Rao at the Santa Cruz airport, Bombay, and heading to Germany. I too had long, long hair and was excited to see a close relative going abroad, which was very rare in those days.
Ravianna, who just celebrated his 82nd birthday was a rebel in his younger days. “I was very mischievous when I was young,” he tells me. “Once I fell into the rough sea at Ullal (near Mangalore) and the fishermen had a tough time rescuing me with ropes.”
For more than 40 years, he was with the German major Bosch group (which also had its Mico units in India) from 1962. During his tenure with the company he has worked around the globe including India, the US, Brazil, Germany, France, Turkey and many other countries. “But I love Stuttgart – where Bosch is headquartered – the most,” he says. Ravianna and Malini Rao live in their sprawling house in Bangalore; elder son Ranjan is in Texas and Rahul, the younger one in Melbourne. And despite his age, he continues to work as a consultant to several businesses, beginning his day at office from early morning.
An early riser – he gets up at 4 every morning – he is buzzing around with his professional and personal life all day long.
Their lovely house with tens of acres of greenery in Gottigere in Bangalore has a fascinating range of trees, flowers and birds and other creatures. When they moved there in the 1970s, many Bollywood stars – including Waheeda Rehman (with whom they interact often) and Sanjay Khan – lived in the neighbourhod.
Ravianna also had a passion for driving and used to go across south and west India on his Java bike and later in several other cars from Hindustans to Mercedes.
Interacting with him and Malini atthige is always a pleasure that Gayatri Belle and I cherish.
Feb 29, 2020