Always in Demand
As a boy in Karachi, Pakistan, Tariq Amanullah was obsessed with building things. Whenever his father went away on business, he would ask him to bring back a "how to" book of some sort. He played with Lego building blocks for hours. He built himself a chair, to place in his father's study.
As a man living in Metuchen, N.J., Mr. Amanullah, 40, couldn't say no. And so his talents -- as handyman, tax preparer, investment adviser -- were spread far and wide among family and friends.
If his sister, Nilofer Usman, needed a garage door opener installed, Mr. Amanullah insisted on doing it. If a niece needed help selecting college classes, Uncle Tariq's advice was solicited. If anyone needed help selecting an insurance policy or figuring out an investment strategy, his phone rang. In springtime, so many friends and relatives sought his help on filing taxes that his family sometimes jokingly suggested that Mr. Amanullah, a vice president at Fiduciary Trust and the father of a boy and a girl, hang a shingle out front.
"Even though he was younger than me, I always had that feeling -- he'll give me the right advice," Ms. Usman said. "Even his friends, if anybody needed anything, he would take the time out and help them. He would never say, `I don't have time, I'm sorry.' "
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 18, 2001.