My Dada (Grandpa) passed away yesterday.
Even though he had been ill for a while now with cardiac and arthritic issues, and this was expected sooner or later, the fact that he won’t be around anymore brings back a flood of happy memories of times with him.
There have been issues where we have disagreed with him and fought with him- like every other family- but he was definitely the most vibrant and active man I have known even in his old age.
Dada and Dadi would stay in West Bengal most of the year, and come over to our place for a couple of months every year.
Being the elder sibling I would sleep with them in their room. He had the most adorable way of waking me up for school. He would start with his daily chores around 4am, all the while humming shlokas from the Geeta and coming to whisper them in my ear every 10-15 minutes. Though (being a person that shows disinterest in any activity of the religious kind) I hardly ever admitted it, I quite enjoyed being woken up that way.
He would then spoil me by giving me some money (that my parents never allowed!) to spend at the thelas outside school. This was a daily ritual for the months that they were around in Rajasthan.
We would go out to Shastri Circle in the evenings. Him, for his walk and routine of getting the English newspaper (that would arrive in our city in the evening). Me, just for the fact that I could get him to buy me comics (which, again, my parents didn’t show much interest in getting for me! It was a task to convince them to let me get comics!)
So every first and fifteenth of the month we had special walks to the stationary shop at the Shastri Circle to get my fill of Champaks, Balhans, Nandan and Nanhe Samrat. On the other days, it was just for the fun of going out and climbing towards the statue of Shastri ji while listening to stories of freedom fighters and such.
[It sounds cheesy, I know. But I was a greedy kid!]
Those are most of the memories I have of him as a kid.
Then again, one act that I hold him in great regard for, is his kids’ education. Even though they stayed in a small village in West Bengal, and did not have much money, he made sure that his kids- not just the sons, but also the daughter- went to one of the best boarding schools in the country.
Even with our differences, he was definitely the most dynamic person I knew.
I’ll miss him.
[The post was just written as a vent-out for me, since I have no one to talk to right now, and needed closure]