Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Grandfather

When I was 9 years old, my grandfather died. I remember his funeral when his body was covered in Indian Flag and Commissioner of Police and a police team had come to pay their last visit to him. I was afraid to touch his body and feeling that he was dead, had not sunk in. The first memory that I have of my Grandfather is of him, teaching me Gita in Sanskrit. He was a Freedom Fighter and I used to understand that there was something special about him different from others but the true significance of him being a Freedom Fighter was never understood by me then. I remember, he was very punctual and used to get up very early in the morning, used to do a lot of Yoga. He used to Knit Yarn daily and then he used to bathe with Mud (black mud of my home town, he never bathed with a Soap). He did not believe in worship of statues and rather he would read Vedas for sometime daily in the morning. In the evening he used to do a Evening Prayer called SANDHYA by him and then he would take him night meals. He would sometime create some beautiful stories for us and we used to enjoy them a lot. As when he died, I was very young, I could never see him as a Great man rather I always saw him as my beloved grand father. But today when I think about him, I feel proud of him and proud of myself to be grand child of such a great man.
It is now only that I realize that how hard must it have been for him to leave my grand mother alone at home in a very poor condition and to go for the cause of freedom of India. How much resolve must he have had for doing this. Now I understand why he used to be so excited when I used to recite my Independence Day speech to him in Sanskrit and why he and his many friends used to give me sweets for the same. Now I understand why he used to be so delighted on Independence Day. Now I understand why he was not in favor of worshiping statues of Gods. Now I understand why he wanted to open a naturopathy Centre and give free treatment to poor. Now I understand why he used to give so much importance to healthy living and healthy thinking. Today I am able to understand that he had a lot of courage, he was very honest and truthful, he never cheated anybody and all these things were not that he followed but they were values that he used to live his life with. He wanted his country to be the best in world and preferred simplicity to the pomp. Pain of other persons was his own pain and nature was a balm for him.
If I look at myself, I feel that while he may be happy in many ways to see me as what I am, he must also be very sorry about many things. while teaching me Gita or other things he wanted me to internalize many values which I have not and if I talk of resolve, I think I am very fickle. But I think I have a goodness in me that is a quality that I bestowed from him and that’s why I feel pain for others, and am pround of my country and sometimes feel sorry for many things for which he would have had same feeling as that of mine. I have a wish in my life that I should improve myself in to somebody so that he is truly proud of me when he sees me from Great Heavens. And I continue to strive for that. And I am sure I will succeed some day. Amen.