#grandfather #memories #family

Timber Merchant

 When I was a child

I remember you carrying me in your arms

the grey pseudo membrane covers my pharynx

making it difficult to breathe

Diphtheria was common in those days

You were turned away

from the footsteps of Holy family hospital

I saw despair

Flow down your cheeks

Where to now

You murmured

As I slipped into unconsciousness 

 

The haveli in Shimla

Amidst blue pines

You, your young family

My father, his brothers and sisters

Settled, content and happy

Forest was your business

Himalayan cedar, silver fir, white oak

Your touch turned them to gold

You took to the road in ‘47

Independence from British Raj and idolaters

carnage ensued

innocents, vulnerable

those who had no say, paid

The Punjabi sky above endured,

said no word but it poured

you spoke little about exodus of your own choice

and loss of everything

the hardship years, the eldest his fits of psychosis

chained, there was no PTSD in those days

people took things in their stride

his young siblings, their silent cries of pain

for the valley, the green trees

the wind that rustled between

the paths that led to nowhere

your hands never spoke of the stories

but you rebuilt the nest

and one by one they flew

some near

others to faraway lands

 

I want to know more about you grandpa

I am not small anymore but your legacy is so much bigger

One thing I am certain

giving up was never in our blood

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Today is my grandfathers 36th Death Anniversary, I usually pay a triibute in the form of a poem or a reflection. This year I thought of writing this one, a history of sorts, do leave your comments, thank you

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My Grandfather's Glasses

My grandfather’s glasses, oh what they must’ve seen for the past 60 years. There’re stories behind those glasses that only he can tell, and every Sunday I’m on the receiving end. Stories of personal struggle that would make even the strongest men crumble, and lessons for life I’ll forever take in my stride. Like two magnifying glasses they allowed him to see things with clarity. It was through his stories that I learned the importance of standing up for myself and that the future can only be determined by oneself. Many laughs we exchanged and many lessons I learned, some will fade and some will stay, but there is one that I’ll never forget. The story of how he met my grandmother is the one that will never go away. It was through his second pair of eyes that he saw a young woman standing on the other side of the dance hall. She was busy breaking hearts faster than the speed of light, but there was a man on the other side of those glasses who couldn’t stop staring at those beautiful blue eyes. With the help of 3 shots of confidence he walked towards the young woman to test his providence. It was to my grandfather’s surprise that the young lady actually agreed to dance, and before he knew it midnight had arrived. My grandfather likes to think that my grandmother was the first beam of light to be captured by his glasses, and in a way he’s right. It was from that moment on that my grandfather’s life changed forever, but it was certainly for the better. Although he has thousands of stories to tell it was a matter of time before my grandfather ran out of new material, but I never lost interest, because in the wide spectrum of colors that his glasses have captured over the years there’re still little beams of light to be discovered. You may think it’s annoying to listen to the same story over and over again, but the truth is, there’s something truly mesmerizing about them. These stories are the pivotal moments that took my grandfather to where he is today and in a way help me see where I can be one day.  I know the day will come when the Sunday stories have to stop, but maybe it’s time I gave it a shot, and looked at life through my own pair of glasses.

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