The utterance of the word 'Grandfather' conjures a variety of images in one's mind. So with me too. I write about him not because he was a favourite nor because I was close to him or attached to him. I write because he has passed away from this world into another. And as I say that, I feel a niggling pain, some my own, most my Fathers'.
A freedom fighter from the pre-Independence era, my grandfather or Dada as we all called him was an embodiment of everything GRAND. A grand yet frail body, a grand ego, a grand temper, a grand sense of regalty.
Dada was more the boss figure than the father figure. His word was the last in any matter pertaining or not pertaining to him. Strict and very overbearing was his demeanour. A thorough perfectionist in his work, his drafts were the most sort after documents in his workplace, his attitude wasn't.
A vagabond in the literal sense, he fled from home when his father ordered him around for things when he was as young as 14. Its odd though, that none of his four children mustered the courage to do the same.
He was a terror to everyone he interacted with. Progressive in his thought process, but rigid about everything else. A stroke followed by (or preceded by?) a heart attack was what it took to confine an active, independent, fiercely upfront and fairly healthy 92 year old man who had always lived life on his own terms to bed. In and out of the ICU and the hospitals, him battling inclement medical conditions that would surely have made him an object worthy of medical research, what hurt me most was the fact that the paralysis ensuing his bout of ill health rendered him speechless. A man who was so eloquent with his language and whose prowess with words was enviable in all manner possible was striving day in and day out to utter a few words (or more)!
That to me was the most saddening of things, in addition the loss of dignity that he felt (and expressed in action and facial expression), the desperation he must have felt at not being able to communicate about something that we all felt he was compelled from within to speak about. Was it unfinished worldly business, or something else, we will now only speculate.
As I sign off this post, I echo what my lil brother said when he broke the news to me, he said, I fel like it is an end of an era.
Yes, indeed that Aakash. I pray that his soul may find solace wherever he would have wanted it to, with whoever he will be happiest with, in whichever world his attachments will find an anchor...
May his soul find a happier life and a happier ending...
May his children, mostly my Father, find the courage to be able to see that the good lied in him passing away not in him lurking around, lying on bed, leading an existence unbefitting of his persona...