My write-up on the reservations brought back a whole world of memories. Of my grandfather, the one who struggled to get his education and then was determined to get his brothers the same benefit. The grandfather I started to know as a child was one fun person to be with. When my rebellious uncle refused to shave his ever growing beard, my tatha bought me and my cousin some ice cream on the condition that we would stick it to our uncle’s beard. And that is exactly what we did! Needless to say, my uncle HAD to shave because his beard had become unbearably sticky 🙂
My tatha chased us around the house, let the dog lick us awake when we would not wake up even at 9:00am and held us in his lap while he told us stories of bravery and valor. He was like many other grandfathers, indulging his grand kids. But as I grew, I began to understand the different facets of his personality. I started to love him for the man he was, instead of just as a grandfather.
He was a true follower of Gandhinianesque principles. No, he was not dressed in khadi, nor did he weave. If you saw him, the way he was dressed smartly in crisp shirts and blazers, Gandhi would be the last thing on your mind. But every aspect of his life was filled with simplicity. He spoke with the same ease to his peers and to little kids on the streets. The paan wala and the big shot CEO were addressed the same way. Not consciously to show any sign of generosity, he just did not know there was any other way.Frequently, he was reminded by others of the top posts he had held and he would brush them off as inconsequential. He lived by simple rules, and having been born in a generation devoid of equality and freedom, he made both his utmost priority – for himself and for those around him.
And he was a dreamer – a poet. A published poet. While his poems were made into songs and blared in the radio, he would be wooing my grandmom with a poem that was inspired by her. This, after fifty years of being married. Even his poems stated the truths so simply, like this one that says
Belaku bandide maneya… hostilaa varege
kitiki baagela teredu…baramaadu valage
( Light has come to your doorstep, Open up your doors and windows and welcome it inside )
Today, more than any other day, I miss him. I miss his soothing words, his warm smile. I miss the hope he represented to our generation. That despite everything being against you, you can still have a fulfilling life without holding any misgivings. And most of all, I miss his poems and their messages. Because today we have shut ourselves up in a world that is increasingly becoming alone. And dark. Today his words sound more true to me than anything else I have ever read.
Entry filed under: Random Banter.