I must have been 5 or 6 years old; when we went together each evening to play “dukaan-dukaan” (I don’t know what we can call that one in English!). Invariably, I used to be the seller, almost everyday. 😛 And he used to come and buy things from me. He never even once showed me how stupid he thought the game was! But, each time he used to come with a serious face, even bargain on some items and buy something.
Every summer, we (his grandchildren) used to gather at his place. He has a big garden surrounding the house. I and my sisters used to fight on who will water the plants. He would divide the area for us so that we could water the plants turn by turn! 😀
Whenever we got bored, he was ready for playing cards with us ‘anytime’ of the day. He would team up with my youngest sister and play against the rest of us.
He was a doctor by profession. He lived in remotest areas in Maharashtra and served innumerable poor people. And though he said that his knowledge is outdated (compared to the new technology antibiotics), His medicines always worked for me.
His life was full of adventures and breath-taking encounters. And unlike many of us, He remembered all the incidents clearly. He had an amazing ability of describing his stories to us, as if they were happening right in-front of your eyes. What can I say; we could almost feel those stories.
Apart from his knowledge of science, I always thought of him as a great-thinker. His knowledge about Politics, Economics and History was fantastic!
He always said, “If I had not been a Doctor, I would I have liked to be a professor of History.” 😯
He would tell the ‘exact dates’ of any historical event accurately in no time at all.
There is one more thing, about which I have always wondered since I was a kid. It is his skill about analyzing things and convincing it to others.
Elders in the house would always sit and discuss any current issues or some past events (like why/how this happened?)
While playing nearby, I kept my ear to those discussions. And I don’t know how, but he always analyzed the thing so properly that his side only proved convincing to me.
For e.g.: If asked, why would the saints in India, thousands of years ago just did yadnyas (light a big fire and say mantras out loud sitting beside it) the whole day?
On this he explained, “The TV Serials are idiotic people. They take the meaning of the written words as it is. Why would those people sit whole day and put ghee in the fire? By ‘yadnya’ our fore-fathers wanted to say that, the saints did deep thinking and focused on developing new technologies.”
He always said that, our ancestors were much advanced in every aspect than what we are today. And the wisest part was that they knew which knowledge to pass on to coming generations and which not to!
That’s how my grandpa was. Though a bit ‘backward’ for 21st century, but way ahead in thinking capabilities of any of us today.
Sadly, he passed away yesterday and is no more with us to give us that kind of teaching.
I will miss him a lot.
Though time has left us being slightly apart,
Just know that, you will be remembered always by heart.