I want to write about it but it was not a fairy tale. Thinking about him brings tears to my eyes. They are not tears of pain, sorrow, vengeance or trauma. I knew their hearts and they both knew mine —- they are tears of immortality.
My Grandpa — what was different about him was he had to face challenges, had increased sense of responsibility early on in life at a very young age. His mom died before he turned 7, father remarried and he was left at the discretion of his mom’s sister. So family life was not a fairy tale to share but out of nothing, he made and gave himself to providing for the family and to see his children successful and in college. Not just in any colleges and universities, they were the ones that were recognized. My grandma came from a very conservative family that was recognized during her time in the small town. Her perseverance, patience, strength, unconditional affection is everything I have come to admire about my Indian culture. She was the reason behind respect if there is such a thing as respect left for some of us.
I respect the Indian upbringing and our parents sacrifices for their children to have good future — like Grandpa. This is a life story of person who was part of the same generation as Gandhiji. I have to say, though this video might show them to be poor in comparison to what Indians are making today working for call center companies, I never felt poor when I was next to grandpa, not for a second. Growing up with them, he gave me everything and what I also remember most about him and regard him highly for is his work ethic, he did a lot of walking in his time, and what he always carried with him was invaluable.
I have very fond memories of them while growing up my first few years in India. Things my grandpa did to make us feel comfortable during our visits to India — hardly mattered. Actually the house has not been occupied in the last 12 years. The two places I really remember are the veranda and the dabha (roof top) were we slept under the night sky when the family reunited. That is something you treasure. They know my heart and soul. Even though I know they did not understand nor have the capacity to understand my life and life style in later years. One thing I miss about my grandpa is holding his hand and that was the last thing I kissed while he was sleeping before I left India. The Irony behind that was he passed away by the time we landed in SFO. All my wealth was in holding his hand wherever we went. I was fearless next to a man everyone feared. Grandma is still there, when I think life is not been fair, I immediately think of my life with them and my soul is assured and comforted. I am no less and no more, we must all face the life challenges, triumphs, and sadness. Ultimately, what we are here for and bodies are here for is to undergo karma. Our destination is with God. Also, what I regard in my grandparents highly for is their devotion to God, Narayana.
More recently, after grandpa’s passing away and as strange as this sounds, I think my grandpa soul is saddened by how life has treated me so he pretty much wants me to be crazy. What do I mean by that? My blog really only had meaning after he passed away. He is in a way taught me nothing matters and wanted the world to see who I am. How much do I keep my life private and how much do I really share with the world? Does the world get to hear my real voice? In what circumstances? Will the world ever see me for who I am. Some might think it crazy, and some might believe it or others might make that transfer into a relationship. This journey and blog has really made me question and realize what is dear to me, who are really dear to me and who knows me.
In making the video of my grandpa, and in my sadness, and the memory of two old people that lived in this house for a long time —- I knew for the first time what it meant to leave everything behind. The only thing he took with him was his soul.
I hope where ever my grandpa is, his soul is happy. THAT was what was important to him the most in my regard. My happiness! The attachment I feel towards him is without a comparison.
My grandma, is the meaning of mother’s happiness India in the way she thought about family and people.