Friday, September 15, 2006

Waiting for Grandpa


I draw lines on the canvas of dew that has settled on the window panes. I would fix them straight but they would trickle down aimlessly, beyond my control; Random, strange patterns. Try again, and again, and again. Random, strange patterns. No straight lines. They behave as they will. Does God script lines of fate similarly?

I watch through the misty glass, the pale yet unusually calm face of the man I so revered and loved – Grandpa. Yesterday was not like this. He and I had had a nice, warm chat, sitting by his bedside. And suddenly, with minimum fuss, he slipped into a coma.

Granddad was telling me about his childhood days. How he and his little friend, Somu, jumped over his neighbours’ compound wall, into their farm, to steal mangoes with great expertise. These for me were like silver screen stories in real life. Where had I ever heard of such stuff? The movies, I bet.

Ageing is such a mysterious reality, even stranger, the phenomenon of death. To me, they are frightful truths that often haunted one in the nights and quietly escaped through the backdoor as morning descended with the illusions called life’s responsibilities. Don’t we categorize them as simply, daily routine?

Coming to think of it, there is the other side. We run in a race, fast and faster, to be the first and always on top. In the process of running, many of us forget that the ultimate finishing line is the end of ourselves. I somehow, can’t subscribe to the fact, “there is only one life, live it.” We should live it, but well aware of our coordinates. We don’t live forever. Sadly, many of us either ignore death or worry too much about it. How many of us can gracefully accept that death is indeed a humbling truth?

Surprisingly, Grandpa always had a calming view of death, not the frightening undertone that it usually presented. He only dealt with it, with such elegant ease. The calm that stemmed from his subconscious glowed on his face, as if preserved till eternity.

We fear missing others, in their deaths and in our own, missing our own selves and lives, those lives, however miserable they may get. We fear death even more, because we have no conclusive control over the causative factors.

I was missing Grandpa’s toothless grin, as soft as a baby’s. I was missing his childish craving for the forbidden jalebis, his assuring talk, his strong will that beat the fragility of his physique. I was missing the complement of me, a weak young woman– he, the strong, old man. I was missing my confidant.

Is there nothing that we can do? I ask the doc, gazing at Grandpa. The doc shrugs in reply. He is deteriorating. I hold grandpa’s hand that had grown to wear the characteristic softness of old age. I will wait for you, Grandpa. Afterall, who am I to draw lines?

18 comments:

dushy said...

Blessed to have a wonderful grandpa :)

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Dushyanth, you mean you are blessed? Or..ME? :)..Just to make things clear, this is a piece of fiction!

Parvati said...

Quite lovely, Anu!

The long (- to your diehard old-faithfuls-) gap between the last two posts augured well for us, since it gave us this most sensitive story. Do write more often and as well!

Suudhan Rangarajan said...

words are nicely interwoven to present a beautiful story. Again a relishing read! :)

Nanyaar? said...

You had me there for a moment or two, atleast till I noticed it was ficition in your comment section.

I belive that 90% of fiction has to do with non-ficition, atleast for me.

complusive writing,

Cheers,
NY?

Harish said...

Gosh..left speechless again...
Beautiful post...

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Parvati, Thanks! :), specifically for being there always to leave a cheerful comment! :)..I really wish I could write more often, but it gets really difficult when most of the time, you land up managing work and home! :)

Suudhan, great to see you after a long time! :)..Thanks!

Nanyaar?, thanks! :)

Harish, :)!

Eroteme said...

You write the emotions very well. In case this is a true incident, I wish a speedy recovery to your grandpa.

Pavithra said...

Well written !! Death in itself is mysterious. Not just in old age. Noone knows what's in store the next minute ;-)

Sethuraman Atisivan said...

A good one. A mark of a professional writer.

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Eroteme, welcome back after a long time! This is a piece of fiction! :)

Pavitra, thanks!

Sethuraman, glad to read your comment..thanks! :)

shark said...

First time here. You have a wonderful way with words!

very nice and touching post :)

LiveMyDreams said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LiveMyDreams said...

Like to quote ur lines " We run in a race, fast and faster, to be the first and always on top. In the process of running, many of us forget that the ultimate finishing line is the end of ourselves."

I dont see any end to anyone. Its only we, who draw a line for ourself. My grandpa who is not anymore, still lives with the love of us to him.

" I was missing the complement of me, a weak young woman– he, the strong, old man. I was missing my confidant."

You wont miss him and you will never. When your Dr said that he is deteriorating, What is your say on that matter? Is he the only doctor in the world? Think what's now possible.

Don't wait for your grandpa to come. You have to get him back.

mysorean said...

Another beauty!

surya said...

hey grt one..... real touchy one...

Anonymous said...

Luck Grandpa!! First time here. Nice one.

Anupama Viswanathan said...

@All: Thanks for your comments! :)