(c) Danesh Daryanani

Some of you may know that I have been commissioned as part of a team to write the text for a book about the photography of Mr. S Rajaratnam who was one of Singapore’s founding fathers, our first foreign minister and the writer of our pledge.

While I can’t give you too much details of the book here, the journey has been very interesting and I dare say a lot of fun.

This morning, I spent two hours with this lovely couple, Mr. and Mrs. Renga. Mr. Renga was Mr. S Rajaratnam’s personal security officer for about 15 years. This means he shadowed our minister everywhere he went. Mr. and Mrs. Renga knew Mr. S Rajaratnam intimately.

The fondness in their voice when they spoke to me about Mr. S Rajaratnam was startling. They were fiercely protective and positively loyal to this man who left the earth in February 2006.

It’s no wonder. They credit Mr. S Rajaratnam and his wife, Piroska for having “saved their life” so to speak. Mrs. Renga had a bad accident many years back and she lost one leg. Mr. and Mrs. S Rajaratnam visited them very often; made sure they got the best medical care and really looked after them.

It’s strange doing so much research about a man I never met. He’s come alive and I feel like I almost knew him personally.

I’ve heard that Mr. S Rajaratnam was really in touch with the people.

That’s what they say about many politicians.

For this man, it was clearly true.

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