Sunday, October 3, 2010

What his old age taught me.

This post is a fiction half merged with reality, as a tribute to someone.. 
I hope you all enjoy it.

What his old age taught me.

My grandfather always detested History books. When it was first introduced in fifth grade, I remember- The revolt of 1857, I went to him running, reciting all the facts of all the leaders and soldiers... It was the first time I was studying what dada studied. I'd be sitting for a hundred marker examination for the first time, just like how dada sat, every year.
My grandfather, however, threw my book away. And scolded me, telling me that all my new school taught me was a history that was for the sake of having that subject in the Indian education Board. I was an eleven year old, to whom his grandfather's roaring voice was only a harsh scold, and nothing that could have another meaning.. I was young. I never understood.
I ran to my mother, big tears swinging in my eyes, like a boat on the tip of a mountain. My nose cried,too. And my mother, the sweetheart that she forever was, wiped my face with her pallu, and kissed me.
"Arre mera raja beta!" , she said, and started tickling me.. My sadness was held on to my childlike brain only for those few moments, however they vanished as soon as my mother, someone who was perhaps the most comforting life that mended me every time I was broken kissed me that one sweet love, and tickled all my problems away, that seemed so big and old, back then..

As I grew, my lessons involved many more revolutions, wars, partitions, protests, honor killings, and patriotism. As I grew, my grandfather's loathe to my books faded, however I never experienced its absence.
I still didn't understand.
I stopped trying. I stopped trying to figure out why did History displease this old man of 76. I thought he was old enough to grow out of stubborness.
Hah.. I was such a child,still. Such a child to never realize why such an old man of 76 bothered to still be stubborn..

I grew up, I got a job, by 24 I was well settled. My elder borther ; dada had long left home after fighting with my father.. He left home to find another home, in a foreign land. Funny how I realized that blood doesn't matter when you make family.. Funny how I realized a lot of things. My father had died, of a heart attack. My mother, I and my grandfather were the only ones who lived in our mansion like bungalow in Lucknow.

I remember, it was late evening.. I returned home, to find darkness inside the house, my grandfather sitting on his rocking chair, listening to Kishore Kumar. The orange light from the lamp beside him refused to hide the hue of moisture that sat on my grandfather's eyes.
"What's wrong? Why aren't you asleep?" I asked.
"Rajje mere, sleep died years back for me.." 
"What do you mean? Why do you look this way? Why are you crying?"
"Nothing.. Just remembered home.. ghar di yaad aa gayi.."
"But this is home.."
My grandfather smiled. The irony was so evident in that old wrinkled smile..

"This can never be home.. I left.. I was thrown out of home decades back."
I looked at him. Trying to figure what his twisted words meant. I was still such a child, in front of that long white beard, and those million wrinkles that carried so many lives, so many memories, so many years, such a long life.

"My home is Pakistan."

My forehead uncreased. After 24 years of holding a grudge against my grandfather for ignoring me when I wanted to share my vision of our nation, the flashbacks only pierced me with invisible slaps, jerking me to realize the obvious that had been right there in front of my eyes for so long. I always wondered why such an old man of almost a century of experience could never grow up enough to grow out of taboos and old school thoughts.. But I realized, that it wasn't about taboos. It was a bruise, a very cruel one, that worsened only with age, and he just learnt to wince in pain a little lesser and lesser everyday at the world, as the world moved ahead, reading everything that textbooks taught them, and thinking that they knew the past too well, perhaps better than the ones who experienced it.

Waiting for feedbacks!


  1. Its the revolt of 1857 you meant I guess. :)

  2. Nice one Nil! I loved the subject. :)

  3. The generation which witnessed the pain of partition will never forget the trauma and bloodshed. It was a sad event of history

  4. Wow. very well expressed and written Nil, as always.

    your writings have a maturity rarely seen in a teenager.

  5. excellent!!!

    thanks for dropping by dear :)

  6. very good Nil. i love how you brought the reader into the grandfather's pain.

  7. Liked it!
    The interplay with words is amazing!

  8. Way to go ........
    Darun..... loved it as always , your choice of words and expressions are just amazing !!!

  9. YEs who will understand the pain they went through I have heard stories from my dad and grand dad.. Indeed so many people were made to leave their HOME..

    text books in school dont give the correct picture...

    Loved the way you have written indeed

    Bikram's Blog

  10. @Meera: Yes, thanks for the save! How careless of me!
    And aw thank you :)

    @Pesto: Indeed, very true..

  11. @Diip: Awwww Diiiiiip. You make my day! Thanks so much love :)

    @Prerna: Thankyou!
    And my pleasure :)

  12. @Cheryl: Heyyyy loveee.
    Thanks tonnes, honey :) Much much love!

    @Akshita: Thankyou :) Hope you keep visiting! Happy blogging:)

  13. @Ashish: Thankyou so much, sir :) Thanks for droppin' by.
    Your feedback was much appreciated :)

    @Didi: Thankyouuuuuuuuu so much didi! Was awaiting your feedback :]

  14. @Bikramjit: So true, so true. Indeed it's only them, who will truly feel the agony of separation from where they belong. What a pity to not be entitled the right to your routes, your own land..
    textbooks are hardly anything, compared to these experiences.
    Thank you, so much.

  15. Sigh.....such memories can never be erased nd they have a hidden love with the engraved bitterness.....and gal how maturely u expressed u all....Big big applauds....i can never handle such topics so doubt ur my bestest writer :)

  16. awww! that means so much to me, you have no idea! but you're being too kind!
    thankyou so much, you truly made my day :)

  17. Another beautiful story. Wonderfully written and enjoyable.


Pour out your thoughts on mine.... :)