My grand father has had the most influence on my life. It has been 5 years he has passed away. Reliving the time he passed away is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. His death has left me 9 months of darkness. It took me that long to get over it. As family, we still grieve our grand parents absence. I know when people become old, they pass away but I wish that didn’t happen in the case of my grandpa. He expired an year after my grandma passed away which is even more painful. Partly he felt lonely and lost in my grandma’s absence, this is how he, such a spry and nimble man of 77yrs has weakened over time.
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about him – Simplicity. My grand parents practically brought me up. My grandpa is the only reason how I became the person that I am today. He encouraged me to study abroad, travel, to become a doctor, to be fearless and independent. He taught me morality, spirituality, history, science, geography, practically everything I needed to know. He gave me lot of knowledge. He did MA literature, that’s how I got good at English by the age of 5. I heard about Shakespeare when I was 6.
Until the age of 10, he used to tell me bedtime stories. We used to walk the bay and meet his friends at the park near the library. He visits library often and he used to share whatever he read that day. I was his first grand child. After I was born, my grand parents (who didn’t live with us that time) moved closer to my home so they can visit us often. He walked me to school everyday. Every now and then he bought us chocolates, even to our cousins.
I used to be good at basket ball and badminton when I was 12. I used to be shy to practice at the stadium so he used to accompany me every time I wanted to go. He likes national geographic and discovery channels, so we used to watch it most of the time. Tennis was his favorite sport, I learned it because of him (I don’t ace in it though). He’s such an animal lover especially dogs. He is the reason why we had pets throughout my upbringing.
He’s a giver. He always helped people(even his enemies) when they needed him. He practically raised his own family(4 brothers and 3 sisters) after his father’s demise. He’s so humble and respectful to his mother. He was chosen for Indian army but he didn’t go because of his commitment to his family. He gave away all his property to his family. He was a contented man. He never wanted anything, especially no material things. He was quite a workaholic. He has been a teacher (English) until the day he passed away. He never liked retirement. He never had any memory problems (damn I envy) so that kept him going.
He shared about most of his school & college days. He was young when India got independence and he met Gandhi. He shared about his participation in the freedom fight and all the things that happened during the Independence.
He is a philanthropist. He also wanted to save trees so he planted this huge garden all by himself. He is modest. He does all his home chores like gardening, shopping, cooking, even cleaning utensils. He was never imperious.
He was a simple man. He didn’t care about walking on the street without shoes. His attire reflects his personality in a bland, affable manner. He carried an appeasing smile, a low toned voice and a dulcifying benevolent personality.
He is always in a fine fettle. He never had any medical problems until my grandma died. He was always active, doing exercise, using herbal products, eating healthy food and still doing home chores even at the age of 77. He is one disciplined man that I’ve ever met. I learned a lot from him.
All that said, I regret one thing. I visited India during Christmas break in 2008. I saw and talked to him, while he was still healthy for 15days. He visited his sisters before sankranti and all of a sudden he gets a heart attack? It was alarming, poignant and dreary. I felt like I should have talked more to him, 15 days weren’t enough. What I regret is that I was puerile to stay on my laptop 24/7 being in touch with my friends when I rather would have spent more time with him. I was dismayed, speechless and depressed. I was so angry that he left me. For months, I couldn’t find solace for my agony (I tried exercise, meditation, praying & even crying). Death is lurid and somber, especially losing someone you love is a real affliction. For physical pain 10/10 you can have IV morphine but for an emotional pain 10/10, there is no medication. The only antidote for this is TIME. Only time can heal your pain. Getting over his loss was the most difficult time of my life. But now, he lives in my memories.
He is a good man, an amazing dad and an incredible grand father. I will always miss him. “I love you grandpa. I wish I spoke to you for one last time.”