Traits of my grandfather
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21st January 2018, Monday

Weekly Digest

My Dear Grandfather ~ an article by Tushaar Anand Madhu

A weekly digest delivers to you the latest stories from peoples lives, to get a glimpse of their world. Today we will be hearing about the Grandfather of a 19 Year Old Boy from Bangalore, India.

My Grandfather - Dr. K. Shivashankar
My Grandfather - Dr. K. Shivashankar

My Dear Grandfather.

My grandfather was an agricultural scientist/professor/teacher with a long list of degrees. I am his tall grandson with a lot of words to speak for him.

I lost my grandfather roughly an year ago. It was about 5 days after his birthday, while he was in coma. Fortunately I was there around him during his last breaths. He died in coma, in deep sleep, and was on a ventilator for 3 months before he passed away.

The surprising fact is I wasn’t nearly as saddened as I thought I would be. I didn’t sting me as a harsh reality of life, or the thoughts of never hearing his voice again didn’t necessarily (always) create a lump in my throat. In fact I felt the connection between us grow stronger, during the last days and the days after his passing away. I was always able to recollect his loving embraces, his kind words, his slow gestures and profound phrases. I always found him next to me when I remembered him, I didn’t feel separated one bit, and thus was not feeling sad.

It is my grandfather’s 80th birthday, and rough one year death anniversary today.  For this I wish to send in a weekly digest to ‘The Tushaar Times’, to remember him and cherish is existence for those who read about him.

My grandfather was unique. He had the ability to make all around him feel loved and appreciated without necessarily doing anything extra. He was always a very calming presence and influence. He was a very content and fulfilled man. I actually feel for the amount of work and dedication he put in, he should have definitely won a Nobel Prize, or something of that nature. More on that later.

Tatha wins the Nobel Prize
Tatha wins the Nobel Prize

But my grandfather was a very advanced man for his time and age. Even during his times, he would have all the latest gadgets and equipment; he would have cameras, and projectors, and gramophone records, a car at a time most people couldn’t afford, and what not! He had all these things from Europe. Even in his later years, he took to the computer and kept at it, typing one finger at a time, for over a decade.

There were something’s that were very peculiar about him like his vegetable shopping habits: he LOVED vegetable shopping. And he would shop for vegetables even when he visited our home for our cooking. If he were going to some place foreign or someplace out of town, and you told him to bring you some souvenirs, he would probably bring you some vegetables from that place.

The second was his persistence on the computer and his NGO called EPI (Environmental Protection Institute) of which I was an honorary member, I my father paid for the membership, but I really wanted to help my grandfather with this project, and that’s why I stayed as far from it as I could. It was frankly too overwhelming. 

He had such good intentions, and I wanted to make this a global thing, so his efforts are recognized, but whenever I made an effort to understand what he was doing, he would try to explain me 50 new concepts. My brain would be ready to explode. Thank god for his students who understood him.

EPI - My Grandfather's NGO


Anyway his computer: he had 15464138416846843484343 and counting files on his computer all saved in the format of a word document. And his all-time unique move was to move the files from one folder to another. He had to do that. He would save the file in a folder unintended for that file. Then he would forget where he saved the file, and after he found the file, he would forget the location he needed to save the file in, because of this and a bunch of other mis-clicks along the way, the file would get saved in 6 other folders with multiple copies, and 23 other files would have been moved here and there, because he would have now found long lost files which he had no clue of even existed. That is how he spent his day. But despite all of that his efficiency was staggering.

The last thing I want to talk about my dear grandfather was about his demeanor. Firstly he was a family man. He loved and trusted his family dearly. He adored both his sons, and went for vacations with them often (along with his darling grandkids). He would treat all of us by buying bakery snacks and local condiments. He loved tea and coffee, and loved walking. He was always eager to meet his students to talk about his latest ideas for his NGO, and would keep hosting drawing and painting competitions for school student with prizes such as colour pencils, crayons, drawing books and such. I got free certificates because there were so many extra one, and would in evidently always win the first prize.

But about his demeanor: He was extremely articulate when he spoke, and seldom nagged or corrects you for the way you were. He was loving and accepting of people’s flaws, though I have seen him loose his temper at my sister, and grandmother sometimes, and found it very funny. He helped me clean my dirty room, while I was in high school, and also let me and my sister style his hair and give him spikes for fun one day. He would tell us stories of his times in university and college, and describe it in great detail like a magical story teller. He showed us hope despite the fact that he struggled a lot to bring us where we are and also suffered a lot with his health in his life here and there.

I always cherish the interactions I have had with him, and the places I visited with him. His help and support has been quintessential in my development as an individual, and  his loss was a big one for our immediate family, extended family, and all those who knew him. It was a loss for the world because  a very knowledgeable and resourceful man who had it all to change the world, couldn’t leave the impact he could have probably left, but that being said, he already did a lot in his lifetime, and he did enough. It is up to us, and our duty to understand his work, continue his mission and carry his legacy forward, it is up to us.

Coming to the end of the digest, I plan on continuing his legacy in any way that I can. I can feel his guidance, and presence by my side, actually he is reviewing my work right now, and says he is pretty impressed, but I need to make some efforts in cleaning my room.

That’s all folks!

Tushaar Anand Madhu signing off.

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