Panditrao Khadilkar (पंडितराव खाडीलकर), a lifelong bachelor, was our family friend at Miraj (मिरज). He used to stay in a single room in my friend's wada (वाडा) about a hundred meter from our house.
He had free access to any part of our small house and even when father wasn't around he used to joke and chat with our mother as she worked in the kitchen. She and we kids always used to pull his legs but he took it gamely or so we always thought.
Panditrao, that's what we all called him, worked at chemistry lab of Willingdon College, Sangli. I could read lots of Marathi books because of him as he borrowed them from the college library.
He used to visit his brothers in Mumbai and Pune for Diwali. In 1980 (I think), he was traveling to Mumbai by train to be with his brother for Diwali. As the train stopped after Thane for some reason, he got down from it and started walking towards Mulund. We heard the same train knocked him to death as he was crossing the rail tracks. He was apparently carrying ghee from Miraj which was famous for all its milk products. They said the same ghee was poured on his funeral pyre.
For many years, Panditrao used to give us kids small gifts. One such gift was a toy soldier of clay. I don't remember the year but he bought it during urus of Samsuddin Mira Saheb. That toy soldier, 'huge' in stature, was my prized possession for many years. I still remember his face, his built, his weapon, his green fatigues. Every year I used to mount him on Diwali fort we used to build at home. He was a complete misfit standing next to Shivaji-maharaj (शिवाजी महाराज) and his saber/spear holding lieutenants.
courtesy: Toy Story page on Facebook