A Story About The Power Of An Ordinary Mundane Song And Love
My granddad - uppachi we called him, mom's dad, was a character. Well everyone in my family is, though recently I came to the knowledge that they are not characters, I am just a storyteller, and they happened to have the misfortune of having me around.
So he was a kind, full of humor, very straight forward, love food too much - to the extent that people will make him a good meal and he would write them off properties kinda man. I know... But he had good enough failsafe system ( my feisty grandmom, which is a novel itself). But my point is that he lived an authentic, truthful life. As far as I could see and feel, he was very much himself. I was his first granddaughter, so I was privileged to experience a lot of special things, experiences with him.
The most admirable thing I remember about him is that he did most of his things himself. He washed his own clothes, other than food; I don't remember him depending much on others. Well, it was a double-edged sword, having lived all his life in a different country has made him independent. A good provider, but very different from what was expected off of him by the culture. Being a man helped him, also having my grandma as wife gave him his freedom.
I don't remember my age these times. I am small enough but old enough to have vivid memories. He had the habit of going to a local tea shop and having tea with his friends early in the morning. During my summer vacations, I spent my time at my grandma's house. So I accompany him. We walk to the shop; this is in the 80s and village. So there is a long table with two benches on either side. I am usually perched on the end of the table, and I get a glass of warm milk, then all the grandpas will talk about their stories ( can't write all now, but I will some day as they are worth writing). Then an hour back we head home.
Grandpa also had very silly stories to tell and very silly games to entertain me and my brother who is six years younger to me. He was always carrying chocolates for us, always have something silly to tell us to make us giggle and laugh.
Above all, he had one special thing for me. A song. It's a patriotic song; my grandpa had seen the freedom fights. He had seen the rebels, the army, the whole life before India got his freedom from British rule. So this song, he would sing. Being drawn to songs and feelings and emotions, I held that song very close to my heart.
Years passed, he got older and so did I. He fell sick, bedridden, I got married, moved to a different country. I visited him in the hospital as he was nearing to leave the world. I want to think of people with their souls in them. But he was bedridden, and I couldn't stop tears seeing the man on the bed.
My grandmom said that he has not gotten up and eaten or drink anything in some time. And I bent down and asked him " Uppachi, Do you know who I am ?". He said nothing. I stood there; my heart is beating so slow...Thinking about all the good memories he had given me, and I started to sing the song. The third line, he got up, sat up and started singing with me.
He asked, "Kunju mol, when did you come?" ( it's what my loved ones call me) And he asked for tea. Everyone was amazed, and my heart was so full of gratitude to that song, to God. My last memory of him is that.
An ordinary song he shared with me connected him and me to a very subconscious level. Enough to pull him out for few minutes to the world. It is one of the best memories I hold in my heart. Love expressed through a song.
I wish everyone experiences love like that, moments like that, memories like that.
Make them...Go out and make them with anyone you can find.
Life is too short not to invest with your full heart and soul.