01 June 2015

G is for Grandfather

My maternal Grandfather is the only one I have seen.  My other Grandfather died quite a few years before I was born.
My maternal Grandfather was really special.  He was already a widower when I was born.  He had 7 children of which my mother was the 5th.  He was  someone who participated wholly in life. I remember him visiting us in Bombay and then visiting his other daughter in Pune.  He was not an old fogey at all.  He was a fun grandfather when we used to visit him at his home in Kerala.  My mother used to come home to her dad every year, with the three of us younger siblings.  I remember him having made a tree house for my brother and me in a small guava tree and him telling us stories--my brother and me again as my sister was a baby then.  He taught us to play ping-pong, as he used to have a table at home and he had a beautiful table with an inlaid chess board and beautiful chess men.  He also loved cards and played bridge and canasta.
When he could no longer live on his own, he lived with one of his sons.  Towards the end of his life--in his nineties, he lived with his eldest son.  There he used to play bridge with some other friends from nearby, till he thought he was become a liability to whoever had to partner him.  All his grandchildren loved visiting him, because he was always interested in each of us.  He was always interested in the world around him; BBC radio was a constant companion.
He was a civil engineer and supervised the building of my parents' home in Trivandrum city, when he was in his eighties.  The house is such a good construction and so well done, that the folks who bought it from my parents are very happy with the house and have done minimal work on it.
He died when he was almost 97, the year my youngest was born.  Unfortunately he passed away before I could take my youngest to show him to my granddad, as I had done with my other two kids.
We all still remember him with great affection.

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