Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reading my grandfather's books

My grandfather passed away last week. It brought to an end, one of the most fascinating stories that I have had the privilege to be a part of. Growing up around him was not always easy. But as I go through all the memories I have of him, I realize that he has been an inspiration all along.

Aai and I were cleaning his room the other day. But it was really difficult to focus because we used to get lost in his books and his handwritten notes. He used to rise early every morning to read. Then he would write down his ruminations on bits and pieces of paper, usually on the back of  fliers and receipts (to save paper). Then he would staple all the relevant writing together. It is fascinating to read all his random notes. He would jump from religion to atheism; then connecting both at the end with a verse from the Geeta.

Going through his books has always been a treasure hunt. He never left any margin blank. His books are full of notes and references. So if you start with Kathopanishada and follow his references as directions, you'd end up reading Dnyaneshwari. And he makes it very easy for the reader. Usually, every reference carries a page number and a verse number. I have been given the task of talking about him on the last day of mourning. His books have all the footprints I need to write that story. All I have to do is follow his directions.

Life is not always fair or sweet. It would be boring if it were always good. A certain amount of struggle is necessary for happiness. Just the way a certain amount of doubt is essential for faith. There is always that one leap of faith that makes all the difference. I have been fortunate enough to witness two generations before me take such leaps. They have always held a special place in my heart. I owe a lot of what I know and how I think to my grandfather.

Rest in peace. You will be missed dearly.
And I will try my best to follow you through your handwritten footsteps. :)