Remembering Grandpa

Article type: Personal
Reading time: 5 to 8 minutes

Almost for the first time, I am attempting to write something very personal and sort of a small memoir here.


If you are fortunate enough to experience the love of grand parents, I am sure you definitely know that they love you more than your parents do. At least, that’s what I believe personally.

I was in my engineering second year, when he left us forever. Death is a full stop. It ends everything. He was there with us a day before playing caroms till the midnight, but then he was no more on the next day. It was year 2002. I remember every moment of that fateful day. We went to a hospital and then we returned home, he walked on his own when we came back from the hospital. We had no idea he was going to leave us in few minutes. When my doctor uncle declared that my grandpa was no more, I wished my uncle was lying. I wished it was just a dream. I prayed to God to bring him back to life. But then time never stops and never reverses.

Things happened so quickly that we learned to live without him. We learned to see that empty place where he used to sleep. We learned to accept the fact that we can never play caroms with him again and quarrel during the matches. And we never played caroms at home again.

That was my first experience losing someone so dear to me. So dear to me that I find no words to explain.

After a decade, the memories still seem so fresh that it feels as if everything happened yesterday. Almost ten years passed without knowing when. But I still miss him even today. At least once in a week I will think about him. Why can’t I forget? May be I will never forget even when I become a grandpa.

He wasn’t anything extraordinary. He was a simple, honest, well educated man; and a retired government teacher. When I was studying at home, he was my virtual dictionary. Whenever I wanted to know the meaning of a word, I would ask him and he always had the answer.

In many ways, he gave us the gift of education. He was strict though, when we were growing up. We never had a cable TV at our home for most of my childhood. He wasn’t behind us to study though. But we knew he was a learned man. He wanted us to study well too. He fought life in a hard way to earn his respect and of course money. He knew education was the only way out. He wanted us to be successful in life. Now that we are moderately successful, he is not there to share the joy with us.

When I was out of my hometown for studies, he wrote me letters. Letters which were so simple. Innocent affection put into words. A simple postcard asking me how I was doing and conveying that everyone else was doing good at home. And of course asking me to study well. He never bothered about my marks and ranks though. We had no phone at home. It was late 90′s and neither email  nor mobiles were so common as they are today.

One more thing I will never forget. We used to watch cricket together. Of course, my father used to watch too. I still remember that 1996 world cup semifinal we watched together where India lost. I used to bunk school and watch the cricket matches with him.

Many memories. Starting from going with him in a bus, eating breakfast with him in the hotel, watching a cricket match, sending money orders on behalf of him, helping him with his bank work, stealing few coins from his pocket, using his rented bicycle without he noticing it. Everything feels as if yesterday. Everything feels as if now. But decades stand in between.

He taught us many things in life. He never cared for material possessions. He never talked bad about anyone. He was a perfect man except for one thing. He smoked a lot for few years without knowing it will take away a decade of his life. He was so healthy even when doctors have lost all hope of his survival he lived for almost three more years.

One more incident that makes my eyes wet and I remember it quite often. One day when he was in hospital for treatment, he compared my height with my father’s height. He was so happy that I was a grown up boy.

He wanted to buy a motorbike for me – to the envy of my father – when I got good percentage in my engineering first year. No one knows the sadness I had to bare when I was the college topper in the next semester and my grandpa wasn’t there to see it. Sadly, he passed away only two weeks before I got my result. I missed him so much that day that I couldn’t sleep.

Yes, when he was there, there were time when I quarreled with him, when I disliked him, when I liked him, when I hated him, when I loved him.

One thing that I still remember even today, which he told me once about his driving. Sometimes bicycle guys used to overtake him while he was on a moter vehicle and they used to laugh at him. But he told, he never really cared for hose things. He never really cared what people thought about him.

He was a simple man without any extravagant aims in life. One thing for sure, he never really cared for money.

I will miss him for sure even when I become a grandpa.

We owe a lot for what he had done for us. We owe a lot for his love.

Why should death do us apart? Why can’t we life forever? Why life after all if we are destined to vanish some day.

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  1. Pranitha
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for reminding Tatayya after a long time…we get ourselves so lost in our routine that we dont remember old memories…You have repeated certain things and thats ok…as it shows that you wrote all this quite emotionally…

    why does death happen? why do we have to loose the loved ones? questions…but had this not been the way of life…would we hold same values…hmm…dont know…

  2. Karteek
    Posted January 14, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    this moistened my eyes!

  3. nskumar
    Posted January 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    i too remember his last words which he told to me balakrishna hospital about my life and career thanks for reminding tatayya

  4. Kaushik
    Posted January 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Chandra…Beautifully written about your affection with Grandpa.

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