Grandparents and Grandchildren share a special bonding. Its all in the name, isn’t it. The prefix ‘Grand’ says it all. The relation strongly withstands the yawning generation gap. That is exactly why I look at my relation with my grand parents with awe. I lost my paternal grandmother three years ago and that was the first time , I thought she was old. Yes, she was an octogenarian. Yes, the skin on her cheeks and eyes had begun to wrinkle. Yes, she was frequently under the doctor’s scanner. But she was active, as active as one can get. The conversations always had an element of excitement. So, it was hard to believe that she had grown old, before actually she became a victim to the passage of time.
And yesterday, February 8th,2013, my maternal grandfather followed my granny. My relation with him was even more special. To me, he is always this Tobacco-chewing, well-built ‘Comrade’ and not the one whom I saw in the hospital bed, feeling very uneasy, a few days back. Yes, he was the ‘Sakhavu’ as they say in Malayalam. A hard core communist who lived the life of one, and one for all of us to stand up and salute. Twenty-two years and lot of memories begins to flash down.
I fondly remember my summer vacations where the presence of this grandson meant the world to you.
Yes, I remember the five-rupee coins which you used to give everyday; which is exactly when I learnt money-saving.
Yes, I remember the toffees which were your gifts for getting horizontal rows of a Crossword puzzle, correct.
Yes, I remember the stories of the Vietnam war and the Indian Independence Struggle, which were the burning topics during the times of lot-shedding.
Yes, I remember the Sunday mornings with you at the Balan Brothers’ Saloon.
Yes, I remember our gardening sessions in the evenings at our backyard.
Yes, I remember how we planted the coconut tree some fifteen years back.
Yes, I remember our fights for a TV remote, especially when there was a Cricket match.
Yes, I remember the chiding for not maintaining silence during the NEWS hour in Television.
Yes, I remember those weekends when I used to come to see you during my college days.
Yes, I remember the diaries which you used to give and at the same time, warn me to hand over at least one of them to Dad.
Yes, I remember how you took my side during my fights with Mom.
Yes, I remember, how I used to patiently listen to you speaking in glowing terms about EMS and EK Nayanar and other Comrades. And I confess that I did read about them in a book fair in Calcutta and wondered how your stories were mirrored in that book.
Yes, I remember a lot of things. I am able to recollect those memories. How I wish, life had rewind buttons. How I wish, to be this minuscule, spending my summer vacations with you. How I wish, you were alive till 2014 when Modi becomes the PM and I could make fun of you and your party members. How I wish. How I wish.
You were a great man who led your life with honour and dignity, lots for me to emulate. You were an abundance of love and care.
My last meeting will stay with me forever. Those couple of days, that cheeky comment about my beard, that taking a dig at my saffron blazer, that moment of proudly telling the nurses that I am your grandson, that moment when I offered you the Jilebi ( my 1st gift to you after I started earning) and that hundred rupee note (which I misplaced………hope you pardon me) you gave me to have my breakfast. I remember every moment of it.
Now, it is as if a light has gone away from me and it is darkness everywhere. Rest in peace.
To echo in the voices of your comrades, ‘Lalsalam Sakhave’.