Monday, December 8, 2008

My Grandfather - A rare friend from a different generation

When I started my blog the first post I wrote was about my mother. Today I feel like writing a post about another relative who impressed me and has left an indelible mark in my life, my maternal Grandfather.

My grandfather was a rare friend from a different generation, a well wisher beyond imagination and the person solely responsible for whatever little decency that prevails in my current English vocabulary.

He was a rare and complete person. Unbelievably well read and well informed, that he was, I found him always fresh in his thoughts, reserved in speech, excellent in humour and unparalleled in love for his family. For his dedication, amazing attitude and abundant capabilities, I would say life had been a bit unfair to him but then he never seemed to show that he thought so and what was special about him was his detached attachment to life.

One of the amazing things about my Grandfather was his mastery over the English language. He simply seemed to know the meaning of every word that I quizzed him with, using my big Oxford dictionary. I have tried several times to outsmart him and failed. I remember him telling me that he was nicknamed as "Mobile dictionary" in his days as a teacher. He was never boisterous about this amazing skill of his. He told me that he had only managed to read a new word every day and that was it. I remember trying this myself for a couple of weeks and giving up. That in itself has helped me come a long way. I can't imagine how good my vocabulary would have been if I had imbibed his commitment to go on for years together!

Reflecting on my earlier post, I can't imagine me reading and enjoying books like those of Wodehouse and commenting thus but for him. He was the one who introduced me to people like Somerset Maugham and taught me how to spell his last name. He thought me some rare words early in life, which I might have never come across otherwise. I am what I am today to a large extent because of his well wishes and blessings which he seemed to have in an unbelievable abundance.

I didn't have a look at the moon today because I had a strange feeling that it would be one of those rare days when it would be incomplete and appear more like a monstrous tear drop. If I had looked at the moon today, it would have shown the face of my maternal Grandfather. He would have been 84 years today.

1 comment:

Janani said...

Lovely post. It has indeed been a privilege being so closely associated with him. He has really been behind whatever vocab we have today. I remember those days when he used to take me to Higgin Bothams in Madurai and get me books during my summer vacation. He also imbibed the habit of referring the dictionary whenever I came across a new word in the book/novel he encouraged me to read. As a teacher, he probably had a unique way of teaching things to each person !!

I may not be able to write such a beautiful post as this but he has indeed been a true inspiration for everyone in his world. As I read this post, I was also reminded of the train incident (that you told me once) when one of his old students, who himself was an elder recognised him and talked with respect. Brilliant people like him influence everyone they meet in life !!!