Remembering

This day in April is always about remembering you. Remembering the Vishu* that never was.

It is also about allowing myself to acknowledge all that I lost 26 years ago. A sapling of a six year old who didn’t really understand.

Thank you.

For believing in me, for seeing past my rambunctious, attention-seeking antics and getting to the core of a little girl who wanted very little more than affirmation.

For all the hours spent perched atop your ample stomach, in your easy chair, reading books upside down with great, loud gusto, while you calmly went on editing your books and correcting your papers.

For the hours spent in your lap when I finally learnt to read the right way, and your gentle, uncritical guidance when I stumbled.

For waking me up gently every single morning and letting me sleep in your arms while you brushed my teeth. I was never a morning person and you were unusually respectful of that.

For saving me, time and again from the wrath of my grandmother, whose ferocious temper I had clearly inherited. You would intervene gently to calm the two volatile beings in your home.

For all the tender childhood memories I can truly treasure.

Time may have been miserly, but fortunately that word could never apply to your love.

On your day, Achappa**,  here is a little Vishu offering plucked and arranged by your great-grandson.

Arvind's Vishu offering

*New Year celebration in Kerala, India. Traditionally falls in mid April.

**The name my creative sibling came up with for our paternal grandfather.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Remembering

  1. Era

    A beautiful and moving tribute. Cherish those memories.

  2. nat

    Thank God I met him. Still remember his encouraging smile.

  3. @Era: Thanks.
    @Nat: Err.. sweetie, you didn’t. It’s my maternal grandfather that you knew. Though he was also rockin’!

  4. Dileep

    We were driving back to Bangalore this year, so didn’t really get time to think about it much. Perhaps better that way.
    I have both grandfathers to thank for the love of words. I guess in that sense they stay alive as long as you do.

  5. I agree. We do owe our love affair with the written word to them.

  6. ys

    Love the Daffodil variety – thank/congratulate your son for me please? And obviously nice post :P.

  7. That was so beautiful, Shalini! Amazing that you remember so much about him. It is my misfortune that I never met him or your grandmother.

  8. @ys: Thangoo:-) Will do. Am sure he will be thrilled to know someone liked it!

    @Meena: Thanks! Yes, I remember him very well, and it surprises me too that I do. Goes to show that kindness stays with you I suppose.

  9. Once when I was floundering in indecision and self-doubt, he picked out a book from his library and suggested that I read it.

    It was “The Power and the Glory” by Graham Greene.

    He knew.

  10. Dileep

    It constantly amazes me that Greene never won any “prizes”, when his writing changed so many lives.

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