“Manasi” called my grandfather who turned 82 this June. “What
grandpa?” I asked him. “Get me some water” he said. As I gave him his glass
of water, he shabbily grabbed it and started gulping it down.
I watched him..I observed the increase in the wrinkles on
his face, the wasting of muscle mass and fat, his bones sticking out. Well he’s
my maternal grandpa. My father’s parents left us long back & so did my
mother’s mother. He is the only grandparent with us now.
My grandfather was always a fighter. A self-made man in true
sense. He fought for India’s Independence since he was born in the Pre-Indian Independence era. After having spent time in jail for protesting against the British in
1947, at age 16 he left his village for better prospects. Unfortunately he couldn’t
complete his education in the field of medicine or in arts and finally became a
stenographer. I won’t go into much details.

Trouble hit him literally, when he
was crossing a road in Mumbai. A car knocked him carelessly. He suffered
multiple injuries and 17 fractures to be precise. It was living hell for him
and the entire family. Till then he had always been a hale and hearty person in
the pink of his health. Everybody thought he was gone for good. But he fought.
Even after that incident, he made his own tea & food, took care of my grandma
and dried his own clothes. All with the help of a walker or a chair. He wrote
articles for his Hindu vivek Kendra on the computer despite his condition.

This incident occurred 14 years back. He has been fighting since
then. It is only recently after the loss of my grandma that he is not the same
anymore. To add to his suffering, he had a stroke recently and his movement
has been restricted greatly since then.
You will wonder why I am writing about him. Simply because
through the years he has been a source of inspiration for me. I remember him
telling me stories while feeding me when I was a kid & I insisting on him
repeating those all day, him taking me for walks in the evening, taking my
side when my parents refused me something, giving me good English novels to
read, watching the Guns of Navarone with me ( an old English classic movie) and
many such tiny things which have turned into great memories.
He isn’t the same person anymore.
He is weak and tired. His eyes look lost, although they still twinkle.

But he
still reads his novels. He reads the same ones again and again and is equally
engrossed in them each time!!! I guess I suit as his grandchild with my love
for novels too! My flair for writing somehow I feel, has been inherited from him..!

He sits there looking at me and smiles. I go and give him a

Friends, we all have people in
our life who inspire us in some way or the other. From our parents, to friends
to complete strangers, we all meet some people in our life who really give us that ‘wow’

I guess we all have that list. What are you waiting for?? Go make your own list about people in your surrounding who inspire you…. My list will go on….!! 

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au revoir!

Update- My grandfather is no more. He passed away peacefully in October 2016 after living a tremendously tough yet amazing life.

Your thoughts please?