This story brings forth the relationship betwixt a grandfather and a granddaughter-between me and my grandpa.Through this story ,I intend to go back to the time when my best friend was still alive and relive those moments again.The only difference is that- this time,I am taking you with me on my walk down the memory lane..
“Parijataka”-that is the name of the house where we live.Built in the sixties by my great grand pa ,it still stands tall,exuding an aura of accessible warmth.My grandpa was the eldest son in the family.My mornings with him were always interesting.He would be up by eight a.m generally.By then I would have got up and would be busy with my tuition home work.Just then the milky white doors would be flung open and the first thing to appear would be two cute,pudgy hands and then a large head with dishevelled hair.He would be in a hurry to go to the washroom.A while later he would reappear and sit down with me.After my tutor leaves,he asks for his tea and happily sips his red tea while chatting with me.
Meanwhile he would get up and go to the washroom again.This time for a very long time.By then my granny would be up and would have sat down at the table,chopping vegetables for lunch.After two hours,she would scream-“Get out out washroom .I have to go for a bath!”.Grandpa would appear in a green and white striped towel.It really was a S-I-T-U-A-T-I-O-N when he had his bath.It was like Halley’s comet for all of us-indeed a rare sighting! Breakfast was another interesting thing! We Parijas’ have never really been taught when to stop!Grandpa would start with bread.The toasts would appear and disappear! Then mashed potatoes and cheese,then one orange,then another orange and then milk and so on.Finally having finished ,he would say-“No lunch for me today”. But that never really happens!
Birds! Grandpa should have been an orinthologist! No one can match his knowledge about birds!He had a whole world of bird books in the cupboards downstairs and had read all of them..Birds were his favourite.Painting birds,emulating bird sounds , poetry on birds-He was obsessed with them! Well to be honest,his interest for birds helped me a lot..All my biology diagrams,supws’ etc were done by him..I remember that in grade five he had made a red breasted bulbul for me .I got an “A” in the S.U.P.W test that day! I couldn’t match his knowledge about birds or his ability to paint them.But I had remembered a few bird sounds which he used to emulate .
Grandpa and Granny made the cutest couple.Their fights,stories and the bond they share-It makes me go”awwwwwwwwwww….cho chweet!”
When granny would return home after playing cards at her cousin’s house, she would take the remote from grandpa and watch her sequels and serials.Grandpa would start teasing her,emulating dialogues,behavior etc and granny would say-“Since I don’t disturb you when you watch your English movies,you shouldn’t disturb me either!”
Granny and maids were like fire and crackers!
“You serve me onion on Tuesday!!!”
“How dare you talk back?!”
“How dare you put garlic in my dish”
“Why are the potatoes not fried properly”
“Idioit!Nawab Nandini!Get out!”
Grandpa would sit silently,peacefully munching at his crackers and cheese,not breathing a word,as if nothing happened.Granny always had an upperhand in all fights(Well don’t all ladies?).But when he is three pegs down,the scene undergoes a little change-“You mad woman”.Next morning when granny would ask him about what he had said the previous night,he would say,”I never said anything.Stop accusing me!”But above all,he loved gran a lot!Even till a few months before his death while talking to me about women and beauty he had mentioned-“I must say that I have never seen a woman prettier than your grandmother.What a wonderful figure she had ! And her features-classic!”
Grandpa used to tell me that as a kid , while in St Pauls’,Darjeeling , how he and his friends used to bunk classes and sneak out of the school to watch movies or pretend to be ill just to have the tarts at the medical cente!He had told me how he and his friends had robbed a selfish Australian friend’s locker of cheese and chocolates!He had so much to himself!
14th March changed everything.It was like a savage funnel of tornado,sweeping across every heart and yielding warm tears.”He is no more”,a phone call informed us.A part of me died the day he left me.Who would tell me how pretty I am?Who would hug me or listen to my poetry?Who would teach French to me? Who would talk to me about birds?
Suddenly I feel like I know nothing! I am completing my project but when the bird diagram comes into view,my fingers tremble a bit before trying.I am seeing this movie but I don’t understand the title-Its in French.
A beautiful bird just flew into sight and perched itself on the guava tree.It’s far from me.I wish I could hear it!Hey! Grandpa had told me about that bird last year!Aah! I think I remember the bird song….
A message to all readers-Please spend time and love your grandparents while they are with you.I have lost mine and I know how bad it hurts!