Goodbye Grandpa

Today, my Grandpa passed away. But he lived a grand and full life, and I thought it would be nice to share how good a person he was and how good a life he had. My Grandpa was touching 87 when he passed away this morning. But, even at that age, his health could beat most of the peers my age. He used to walk a lot every day and was as fit as a fiddle. It was only over the last few years that he sort of stopped doing yoga and stuff, that too on recommendation from his doctor. Most people my age, go paranoid on the slightest sign of a headache, but my grandpa was the opposite. And I believe that it was this frame of mind that kept him healthy for this long. He never let old age get the better of him and remained active.

To all of us in the family, he was the reason why many of us are what we are. As a young boy, during British India, he fended for the family that is his mother and 2 brothers by himself. He put both brothers through school and college while still raising a family. A lot of great values he passed on to my mother have come down to me. I believe my love of music, all forms of music comes from him. He was always there for all the grandchildren. We were all treated equally with no biases. Everything bought, right from a tiny sweet to a shirt, was bought for all my brothers and a dress for my sister. Well, my sister was favored a little higher than all of us, but then she needed someone to back her up when she went against three brothers who were united in mischief. But that was all cool.

With regard to music, about 7 years ago, my Grandpa heard me listening to Pink Floyd on my speakers and he really enjoyed it. That evening, I remember we sat and saw the entire PULSE concert from start to finish. And I don’t think Grandparents can get cooler than that. We would spend long afternoons whenever he was home talking about music. He would give the carnatic perspective and I would have my western perspective, and we would find commonalities in music. The best part is that my Grandpa learnt formal carnatic singing after he retired. Just as music became my favourite pastime, it soon became his too. And he actively taught music to many people in the colony where he stayed. This is probably one connection I am going to deeply miss.

I remember mom telling me stories of how Grandpa would never encourage eating junk food. In a town like Calcutta, where my folks where brought up, resisting junk food is quite the challenge. But when it came to the grandkids, when all of us were together for durga pooja in Cal, he would take us out for junk food from dawn to dusk. Later on, while living with my Sister, he got accustomed to burgers, ice creams and pizzas. And enjoyed them well. I remember once, we walked into a food court, grandpa, mom and I. Gramps goes saying, ‘ I’m getting some pizza for myself…you guys take what you want.’ Needless to say, my jaw dropped and mum was being….well…all mum and was not too happy about the choice of food!

There are so many great memories of Grandpa, right now I’m a little too incoherent. But I can learn a lot from him. You’d never hear him complain. He always kept himself busy right until the last day. Active in singing, active in exercise and never for once let old age get to him. Not only me, but I guess all of us can take an example from this person who has done so much and meant so much not only to us, but to many families. Goodbye Grandpa! Thank you for being there! Thank you for Mom! Thank you for everything you taught us all!