Nov 26, 2009

a sudden surge of memories

Dear Grandpa,

Your memories struck me all of a sudden in my dream during a quiet, afternoon siesta today. I woke up with your image clearly lingering in my eyes. It took me back to some of the best moments of my childhood during my days with you and Grandma.

As a playful kid, your strict disciplinarian rules made me hate you a lot. Now looking back, those days are funny; days when you chased me and my brother while we were climbing the guava trees, when we used to jump on the fresh sand you had bought for some construction work and so on. Although everyone else seemed to have ignored you or your words, for a change I was intrigued by you.

How did you manage to be so disciplined even when you were in your 70s, grandpa? I do sometimes struggle at this aspect at my young age, thanks to my laziness. I still remember those days when you never used to miss hearing the 6 o'clock morning news from your radio. Being self sufficient is something I had learnt from you. Managing your own type-writing institute post retirement, incentivizing your grandkids to get their help in correcting the typed papers, your whistle to announce to the whole street that there are mock exams happening in your institute, your way of organizing the corrected and uncorrected papers everyday and many more vivid memories. There were times I used to just sit in front of you and watch your habits keenly. Being organized and methodical is something I saw in you everyday.

Remember the time when you helped me with an essay competition in school! We sat together, gathered a pile of your old history books in front of us and you typed out a whole essay for me. Being in this Internet age, the essay you helped me write just by referring to your old history books now seems like a spectacular task, though it was very obvious to you then. I wish I had saved a copy of your hand typed essay.

Doing more with less is something I learnt from you, grandpa. You saved up one sided papers, you tried to reuse as much as you can. These habits somehow got internalized in me as well. Your excitement and fun during the event of Bhogi is still vivid in my memories. How you used to bring things of no use from nook and corner of your home so the kids in your home can burn them and have fun on Bhogi! I recollect those days when you were having a lot of interest in gardening and you used to give away bunches of curry leaves and drumsticks from your garden to the neighbours.

Although I didn't understand many of your words, some of them are making sense to me now. "Money gets more respect than people" - this is something you were murmuring every now and then. I didn't get it then but I get the deeper meaning of that phrase now. It's been a few years since you left your home to meet grandma in heaven. I have never returned to your home after that day. I cannot bear to see your home that personified you and characterized by these beautiful memories, now being renovated and remodeled as a modern day apartment.

I never got a chance to meet or interact with my paternal grandfather. You filled the gap in many subtle ways. Thanks for the many memories that made my childhood the happiest phase of my life.

Yours loving granddaughter.

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