Yesterday (Jan. 01) was my Grandpa's 11th death anniversary. It is over a decade now since he left all of us. My Mom used to say that I would always prefer to stay with my Thatha (Tamizh for Grandpa). He was a my 'Role Model' in many ways in my life.
First quality I admired in him was his 'Patience'. But if you ask his children (my Uncles), they would probably remember few occasions when he had scolded them. But I refuse to believe that he was even capable of getting angry. Such a loving and caring person he was. Everytime I say something about him in the past tense, I have to do so consciously, coz he is still alive in my memories.
So naive and close was I to him, that after his first anniversary, I got a call on my birthday in 1996, wishing me "Happy Birthday". The voice sounded so much like my Grandpa, which shook me. In the confused tone, I asked who it was, to get the answer "Un Thatha" (Ur Grandpa). For a moment, I really thought it was him and was about to shout to my Mom saying Thatha was on the phone, the hard reality hit me.... He was no more there to talk to me on the phone. And exactly the same moment, the person on the phone said, "I am ur uncle speaking. Can't you recognize my voice?". I was almost in tears but managed to finish the conversation and kept the phone down.
Even today, I try my best to keep my Grandpa alive by consciously trying to imbibe the qualities I admired in him, in my life.
He was a strong believer of "Thought Force". He says that what you think in your mind will eventually become reality. So always, think positive. From the time I have known him, he used to keep saying that he will live only for 75 years of his age and the day he dies will be celebrated by the whole world..... And guess what? He died exactly on a New Year (January 01, 1995) when the whole world rejoices. He just completed 75 years of his living in September 1994.
He died in Rai Memorial, where he was admitted for treating his colon cancer. It came as a terrible shock to all of us coz, just the previous day we all met him and wished him new year and saw him recovering back to normal. We were informed that he died of a cardiac arrest. He used to feel that he is a burden on his children coz when he was hospitalized, his sons and only daughter (my Mom) took turns to be in the hospital to help him out. He always liked to be on his own and never wished to be a burden to others. Probably, the very feeling that he was being a burden must have brought death to him. Everytime I talk about him to Bharath, he tells that he missed meeting such a person, and wishes that he came into my life earlier or my Grandpa lived longer.
When my Grandpa stayed with one of his sons in Besant Nagar, I used to go to the beach for a brisk walk with him, early in the morning. On the way back, we used to get milk packets for my aunt to prepare coffee and Boost (for me !!).
His standard phrases "Om Shanthi" and "Amma Thaaye Parashakti Lokamaatha" keep ringing in my ears. He used to say these when he felt tired or when his back hurt due to which he could not continue his work. Though my Grandpa is physically not present with me now, he still lives in my memories... very alive and he still guides me and is there to support me whenever I need him. I love you Thatha. And I miss you a lot.