Life

Thoughts on Grandpa

Grandparents hold a special place in most children’s hearts. Well, most of them. You already know I hated one. As a child, I was especially close to my mum’s parents. Probably because for a couple of years in junior and senior kindergarten, I lived with them while attending school.

My grandfather in particular was a great man. In my eyes.

I still remember vividly how he would narrate mythological stories to me every single day. I learnt about the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and other Hindu myths {which I have now conveniently forgotten!} from him. To a child, these stories were fascinating! He would have me seated in the kitchen while he cut mangoes in summer — these itsy-bitsy perfectly square pieces without any skin on it. I still wish I could cut them in the same perfect manner.

I remember how he would store comic books for me — my favourite being Phantom. And how he would always record cartoons for me — Tom and Jerry, He-Man, Mickey mouse and friends — knowing just how much I loved them. I’d watch them and re-watch them for years. He, along with my grandma, indulged us in every way. Particularly me. I was their very first grandchild. And every summer I spent with them as a child was great. Unlike my parents, my grandparents rarely ever said ‘no’. My grandpa would go to the shops and buy me my favourite chocolate biscuits or my favourite juice. Yes, I was spoilt.

He was a traditional man, my grandfather. And very superstitious. He believed in numerology and it was because of him, I was given my name. Apparently, through some of his numerological calculations, it is supposed to be lucky for me. Personally, I don’t believe in this and growing up, I had debates with him on his superstitions and beliefs. But I think I’ve led a pretty fortunate life so far — so maybe he was on to something with the whole name-game?! He had other superstitions. Like me needing to carry something blue on me at all times. For luck. And he followed auspicious times and days and stars. None of which I understood.

My grandfather was actually quite anxious. I now know where the rest of the family gets the anxious gene. He made it a point that after visiting him, we rang once we reached home. I still remember how when I visited them the very first time on my own at the age of 17, I forgot to give the mandatory call after reaching home. You can only imagine what happened when he didn’t hear back! Yep, he was on the phone to my mum who had to calm him down and then I had to calm him down and tell him I was old enough to look after myself.

I spent less time with him as I grew older. I had a lot more vocal debates as well. Especially given his traditional views and my completely opposite ones. But I still respected him.

In his final months, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A tragic blow for someone who was always active and who loved to keep his mind busy. I heard from my mum how he required a lot more help to move. To get things done. And my heart went out to him. In 2006, he had a fall. And broke his wrist. And hurt himself. He was operated on. And was apparently doing well. And then one afternoon in September 2006, a few days after his birthday, I got the call.

He had died.

I had no words. I cried. Mum cried. He’d died peacefully and it was probably the best thing that could have happened. He no longer had to suffer through the degenerative disease that is Parkinson’s. He died with his cognitive abilities still reasonably intact. He would have hated losing that. I felt a bit at peace knowing that.

The last time I saw my grandfather was in February 2005. Just as I was flying to Australia to start a new phase of my life.

I know he watches on me. He has to. I am his first grandchild after all. And every summer I bite into a mango, I think of him. Fondly.

***Linking with Zanni for Sunshine Sundays and Grace for FYBF. I know this post is a bit disjointed but I was reminiscing and I pretty much just let the words flow***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • R's Mom
    March 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Wonderfully written PB..I got a lump in my throat when I read this…you were lucky to know your grand dad :):) Big hugs to you

    • Psych Babbler
      March 27, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you RM! Apparently my sister cried when she read this! 🙂

  • R's Mom
    March 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Wonderfully written PB..I got a lump in my throat when I read this…you were lucky to know your grand dad :):) Big hugs to you

    • Psych Babbler
      March 27, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you RM! Apparently my sister cried when she read this! 🙂

  • Sreeja Praveen
    March 27, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    That was a sweet recollection, PB 🙂 Loved the way you spoke about the intricate details of the relationship. Lovely. I’m sure he’s still with you 🙂 Around you 🙂
    Sreeja Praveen recently posted…The Beginning…..My Profile

  • Sreeja Praveen
    March 27, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    That was a sweet recollection, PB 🙂 Loved the way you spoke about the intricate details of the relationship. Lovely. I’m sure he’s still with you 🙂 Around you 🙂
    Sreeja Praveen recently posted…The Beginning…..My Profile

  • Kajal
    March 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This post is perfect the way it is, PB. It displays your feelings so beautifully. I was very close to my maternal grandpa as well and lichis remind me of him, like mangoes remind you of your grandpa. Lovely memoir. Thanks!
    Kajal recently posted…Making An ImpressionMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      March 27, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experiences too Kajal…and for your comment! 🙂

  • Kajal
    March 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This post is perfect the way it is, PB. It displays your feelings so beautifully. I was very close to my maternal grandpa as well and lichis remind me of him, like mangoes remind you of your grandpa. Lovely memoir. Thanks!
    Kajal recently posted…Making An ImpressionMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      March 27, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experiences too Kajal…and for your comment! 🙂

  • Swathi Shenoy
    March 27, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    This was really a nice read 🙂 I too hate one of my paternal grand parents and felt like odd one out when every one talked about them lovingly! Though I did love my maternal grand parents and still do 🙂 This post made me recall some of the good old memories 🙂
    Swathi Shenoy recently posted…COMPANIONMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      March 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Glad you were able to relate Swathi… 🙂 Thanks for the lovely comment and for sharing…

  • Swathi Shenoy
    March 27, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    This was really a nice read 🙂 I too hate one of my paternal grand parents and felt like odd one out when every one talked about them lovingly! Though I did love my maternal grand parents and still do 🙂 This post made me recall some of the good old memories 🙂
    Swathi Shenoy recently posted…COMPANIONMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      March 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Glad you were able to relate Swathi… 🙂 Thanks for the lovely comment and for sharing…

  • Jyothi Nair
    March 28, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Such a sweet share this is. Personal feelings have a way of coming out beautifully as a blogpost. I have never really had a grandpa to spend time with. But I can so understand the emotions PB. <3
    Jyothi Nair recently posted…BOOK : Double JeopardyMy Profile

  • Jyothi Nair
    March 28, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Such a sweet share this is. Personal feelings have a way of coming out beautifully as a blogpost. I have never really had a grandpa to spend time with. But I can so understand the emotions PB. <3
    Jyothi Nair recently posted…BOOK : Double JeopardyMy Profile

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    March 28, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Loved hearing about your grandpa.
    I also now feel like eating mangoes …
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  • Lydia C. Lee
    March 28, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Lovely – I like how we get memories spring back, triggered by smells or tastes (and they’re always that little bit stronger or clearer)
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted…Conversations with ExpectationsMy Profile

  • Neets
    March 28, 2014 at 5:51 am

    What beautiful memories of your grandfather. What a wonderful man. It’s so nice to have such lovely memories live on even after the ones we love so dearly pass. Thanks for sharing PB. x
    Neets recently posted…Your Bed or Mine?My Profile

  • Sammy D
    March 28, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Such a loving tribute to your grandfather. I’m sure he loved you very much. Thank you for sharing this. It gives me hope my beloved grandchildren will remember our time together!
    Sammy D recently posted…Stay Out of the Kitchen – Part 2My Profile

  • Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    March 28, 2014 at 9:51 am

    What a beautiful post! Our grandparents really are so special. I do believe that both of my granddads and looking down on me… making sure I’m doing the right thing probably!!! 🙂

  • Cranky Old Man
    March 28, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Lovely post!
    Cranky Old Man recently posted…IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPYMy Profile

  • Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel
    March 28, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    That’s lovely, I was close to my grandfather too on the paternal side and he taught me a lot of simple wisdom, I now realise. He died in 1986 and I remember him very fondly almost every day.
    Seana – Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel recently posted…Aussie Family Holiday Friday – News, Ideas and Inspiration for Your Family HolidayMy Profile

  • floodproofmum
    March 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Beautiful post. Grandfathers are priceless. I lost mine when I was a little girl but still hold precious memories 🙂

  • Pinky Poinker
    March 28, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    A beautiful tribute to your grandfather! I was the eldest grandchild on my father’s side of the family which made me feel very special too!
    Pinky Poinker recently posted…Pinky’s First KissMy Profile

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    March 28, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    He sounds very similar to my own dad, very anxious and nervous would worry if we didn’t call to tell them how we were after a visit. I’m sure he’s watching over you right now. And I have to say he’s very lucky to have passed before he became someone he didn’t want to be. But still, hugs for you loss.
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted…Want to read about my ginormous bloggy plans for this year?My Profile

  • Shailaja V
    March 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    You always leave me with a strong emotion when I visit your blog. Today, it’s a combination of nostalgia and empathy. I lost my aunt earlier this month and so much of what you said applies to her. Thank you.
    Shailaja V recently posted…Take a momentMy Profile

  • Shilpa Garg
    March 30, 2014 at 2:08 am

    That’s such a lovely tribute to your Grandpa, PB. Grand Parents are special. I lost mine when I was in school but remember the stories he had to share and the orange candy every single day of our 2 months summer vacations.
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Could Have BeenMy Profile

  • Fab
    March 30, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    A very sweet description of your Grandpa. The two of you seem to have had a relationship of mutual respect in spite of differing opinions, and that is something you can be proud of. People who go leaving happy memories behind will continue to live on in the hearts of their loved ones.

  • Michelle Liew
    March 31, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful grandparents with us! Truly remarkable folks!
    Michelle Liew recently posted…Today I’ll begin…My Profile

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    April 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Beautifully written and from the heart – I hope I can help my kids develop a special bond with their grandparents too x
    Kirsty @ My Home Truths recently posted…I Must Confess…March TalesMy Profile

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