A little kid on the verge of walking, holding a big old finger in his little palm. What does it reminds you? Maybe your childhood days. A toddler running all over the lawn, sometimes falling, sometimes getting hurt, yet rising again to walk! How brave were we as a child. We never feared to fall but we do now. We never got tired of trying to get up and start walking again, but we do now.
My grandfather died six years ago. I was too young then (maybe in sixth standard) and my cousin (my mom’s sister’s son) who’s eight years younger than me was then a baby. Grandpa died a tragic death. He was a person of morals and values. He was short-tempered yet very kind hearted, jolly, had a big fat belly, loved to eat, had an extraordinary tongue that could taste and tell what’s wrong! People say I have my grandpa’s tongue cause I can do the same. He was known all over the town. Once had been a wealthy man but in the last years of his life, nothing was in favor. Grandpa was a person whom you would call “Zamindar” or landlord. He had huge pieces of land where farmers worked. He had mills set up on. Later, as time went by, the business declined and he had to sell most of his property. He couldn’t support riches anymore. Yet he loved me so much that during every puja (festival) he would gift me the best clothes in the market, would feed me the best fish, would buy me the best gift. He gave his all. Nobody can love me as he did. Not even my parents!
He had always been careless of his health. He slyly smoked so that his wife won’t spot him, he refused going for a checkup. In fact he never went for a checkup! The main reason was lack of money. He had no money to see a doctor and bear the expenses. He refused taking a single penny from both his sons-in-law (my dad and my uncle) cause “zamindars” don’t borrow. He died untreated. He never spoke of his pain, his health, his needs. Even on his last day, when we were rushing to take him to the hospital, he was aimlessly searching his pockets to find his wallet to pay the bill before he fell unconscious. He died of Multi Organ Failure.
Later his bank accounts showed that he had left lacks of rupees for his beloved wife, so that she never has to beg to anyone after he dies. He has been saving this money all his life!
He was a great-hearted man. While the poor children of the slums played with just dusty stones, he watched them from his balcony. I remember, he had bought them carom boards to play with. While his maid’s husband left her when she was young and had an infant in her lap and went away with another woman, my grandpa took charge of the little baby, taught him, paid for his schools, books, food, shelter and now he works at a stable place with a decent salary. While another maid one day cried on his feet cause she had no shelter to live, my grandma paid all he could to set up a living space for her. When I was a little girl, he used to bring me packets of chips and biscuits secretly so that my mom doesn’t get to know (my mom never let me have chips). These stories have never been spoken. He never told anybody of any of his great works. I got to know all of it from people he helped.
He passed away at the age of sixty. This post is a tribute to him. May he stay happy and blessed, wherever he is. Such a wide-hearted person is hard to find. Even though he had nothing left for himself, he did whatever he could to help others.
I could never say this, but I LOVE YOU GRANDPA!