Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Grandfather’s Son

On 6th May, nine years ago, something strange happened.

The sun did not rise!

The world just flipped over as Mankind went around the World Room looking for the magic switch. Nothing. Darkness! Yes, darkness crept into my whole life.

Reason being? My grandfather’s son passed away. My son's grandfather passed on.

And he was great man! Yes he was.

A man who (pardon my Biblicism) begat me, and brought me up. A man who taught me (though he was being paid to do it since, well, he was a teacher). A man who was proud of me, as I am proud of him. The man I call father (though he was never consecrated as a Catholic Priest).

A father who was never absent and whose presence I still feel today.

In a world where values and responsibility are as scarce as shampoo for the crotch, his sense of instilling virtue and life’s eternal lessons to me, and indeed all my siblings, was non-pareil. I could write hundred of things that he did or that he said, but I choose to single out one.

As Head Teacher, one day he sent me away from school as I (or rather, he) had not paid the requisite school fees. All the other kids whose parents had paid the fees were spared but those whose parents had not paid were sent away and since I hadn’t reminded him to pay, I had to leave. You see, at School, he was the Head Teacher, at home he was the father. So imagine the chuckles at home when I told him that I had been sent away by the Head Teacher for non-payment of fees.

‘Can you go and ask the Head Teacher for some additional time to enable me pay?’ he asked.

‘Are you kidding?’ I replied ‘You certainly haven’t met our uncompromising Head Teacher! I will do nothing of the sort Dad!’

He paid.

We shared great moments together. Moments of joy and moments of sadness. He took me to my first football match (though I cringed at the profanity of the fans and the songs they sang!), he gave me the first strokes of the cane, he bought me my first camera and with that I was able to record priceless memories.

With my subsequent maturity, I do realize he also made a lot of sacrifices for the whole family. He worked hard to keep us happy.

You didn’t need action heroes or Idols those days. You had people like Dad. If it was Diddy’s time, he would have been some sort of Tuff Daddy.

We miss you Daddy. And obviously mum did too, if that is the polite reason for that horror car crash that cut her precious life short within two years, to join you.

And I will always consider myself lucky to have met you in this life time. A father figure who combined the best you can get in friends. Am dead (pardon the pun) serious!