• Friday, December 15, 2006 

    Dada, this one is for you

    The earliest memories that I have of my childhood features my grandpa very prominently. He used to walk me down to my nursery school, every now and then I would play a prank and come with an excuse for not going to school, the most common one being good old stomach ache, every time he use to fall for that and bring me back home and then tell mom “isko pait main dard hai, kaisse school bhej deti ho aise halat main” mom of course knew what that stomach ache was all about, but after the lecture session I would get the whole day off. But there were some –ve’s of going with him to school, the iron man he was he could walk miles without a sweat and expected poor me to do so as well. He would tell me stories of how when he was a kid, he used to walk to a different village to go to school, it’s a marvel how he maintained the same strength and endurance almost throughout his life, except for the last few months, when he was way into the 9th decade of his life.

    We learnt a lot from him, his dynamic life had started as a child in a small little known village in north Bihar and then transitioned to a bread winner for his family in Ranchi, to a well to do businessman, to being cheated away from all that, to the proud father of 3 well settled daughters, and two sons one an engineer and the other one of the most famous doctors of Ranchi. He had seen it all, done it all.

    He gave a lot to me, my childhood would not have been same had it not been for him, as a child I would go massage his legs and he used to give me toffee’s chocolates and also money at times. I used to feel so rich with all those rupees I used to keep safely in the locker of our (my and bhaiya’s) almirah, bhaiya would borrow leisurely from that treasure and often it gave us an excuse to get into another scuffle. Thinking about all those moments and many more memories from which dada is an inseparable part its hard not to be nostalgic.

    When I was back in Ranchi for a few days after L&T and before IIM B, we met for the last time. Everything was normal when I reached Ranchi, we met we talked, he told me about the time work had taken him to Mumbai way back in 1940, he told me about the things he did, the places he visited, he remembered things like it was just the other day. Of course conversations with him was incomplete without he reciting a few of his new compositions (he used to write poems), but that was probably the last normal day of his life, he lost control while walking and fell down, he was bed ridden since then. His memory also weakened and his condition kept worsening over the months before finally he succumbed to his old age on 14th Oct 2006. I was coordinating one of the events of VISTA’06 when dad called to inform me, even though I knew all about his condition I was stunned. All the flights were full, I could not go home, that was one day when I felt totally lost, what’s the worth of all this if I can not even be with my family in such hour of need. I spent hours that night in the OAT, lying down gazing at the stars, my mind totally blank. The next few days were very tough, with summers round the corner, forms to be filled, resumes to be submitted, quizzes coming up…, mom, dad, bhaiya, everyone told me to stay back and I couldn’t even be there for his last rites.

    Despite his shortcomings he was a hell of a person and will always remain a great influence on the lives he has touched, mine and everyone else’s who were around him. Anyways all that is past now, he is gone but his memories will never fade away, I’ll always love and respect him for the man he was. He had extracted the most out of life and now that the time has come, may he rest in peace.