Humans of India #1: Thatha

Why look outside when you have inspiration within your house!

My Thatha (Grandfather) has had one of the most positive influences on me, all these 24 years, and still continues to.

He, in more ways than one, reminds me of all the traits Professor APJ Abdul Kalam stood for; loved by all, down to earth, treats everyone with an equal eye and extremely dedicated (to work, self and family).

In his prime, he can make even the most serious person in the room laugh out loud, with his funny one liners and jokes. Some of them make me laugh even now, after having heard them like a 1000 times.

He gifted me my first bicycle when I was in Class III (or IV).

He likes to see people around him happy and derives his own happiness out of it. For example, he would always keep a handful of chocolates in his front pocket. Whenever the newspaper boy, milkman, maid, kid from the opposite house or any guest comes, he would give them a chocolate to see their faces beaming with a smile from ear to ear. A man of few words, he uses such small gestures to show his love.

With an elephant-esque memory, he manages to remember every little detail possible. Some day, he’d come up to me and say, “Today is A’s brother’s friend’s husband’s birthday.”

Till a few years ago, he used to have a very rigorous and busy daily schedule, even in his retirement life. He would cut newspaper clippings of interesting tidbits and compile them in a book, read journals and books, call his friends and relatives or just sit and write “Sriramajayam” endlessly.

When I was a kid, I would wait for him to reach home at 6.45 pm sharp, to get hold of something he’d have bought for me that day.

These days, I don’t get to talk to him often, but when I go home after a hiatus of three months, nothing would have changed between us. He would jokingly ask me, “What have you bought for me this time?”, kiss my hand and then we’d chat our way to glory!

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If you’re new to my Photo Diaries Series, you could start here.

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