#FridayReflections – Happy 90th Baba!


A file photo from the 1990s

A file photo from the 1990s

My paternal grandfather, Baba was born today and we lost him when he was 72. His death was one of my first brushes with mortality. As a teenager, that was the first time I witnessed what being taken away for the last journey means. It hit me hard and the memory of that day still remains.

I have always admired Baba for the values that he brought to the family. He was a man with a school of thought that appeared to be old, but in reality, it wasn’t. He was practical in his approach and what we thought was conservative was keeping up with the times that those were. 

A single breadwinner for a big family, he had a style of his own. White shirts and white trousers made up his wardrobe and he never stepped out with that black pen in his pocket. A shining broad forehead and white scanty hair. Those black framed glasses and that intellectual look showed what profession he came from. He retired as Head of Political Science department and Dean of the University and his presence commanded respect amongst peers.

An almirah full of his favorite things like dry fruits and maggi was always locked to be opened only when grandchildren visited. Being the eldest and obedient of all, I had the opportunity to pick what I wanted. Not once, but every single time. A diabetic, he saved toffees for us and sometimes for himself.

Affection is not just in words but in actions and he was the one who knew how to bring the family together. For every festival and family celebration, we were asked to reach home. The real home. No other conversation followed over that call and all we knew afterwords was packing to leave immediately. I don’t remember celebrating Holi or Diwali at Azamgarh but with the larger family – not just once but every single time. 

An eloquent orator and one who could argue his point, Papa and he used to talk a lot. On politics, children and education. I don’t remember much but I know those moments were heated with emotions but they were fun. It was a connection between a father and a son. How can I forget his quality to call a spade a spade. Without apprehensions of any sort, he spoke nothing but his mind. In wedding receptions or at home, he never hesitated.

When I passed my 10th standard, I remember being told how proud he was of me and how no one else in the family had scored in the 80s. Now there I was sulking on not being able to do well and his words made me smile. Religious, a food lover and disciplined, he used to reward Mum in cash for making kebabs. 

If he were around, I am sure he would have been happy with the choices I made in my life. He wanted grandchildren to marry within religion and I am sure he would have been happy to know VT as a person. Inter-caste but still within religion. He wanted good education for all of us and I know he would have been proud to know what I do for living. 

I tell many that I was lucky to spend so much time with my grandparents and I know this is something that I can never miss to mention. The love that’s unconditional, the care that’s genuine and a sense of belonging that comes with grandparents is hard to find elsewhere. Their life stories are unique and reminiscent of the times they have seen. Those years before India became an independent nation tell us things that we wouldn’t read in book. 

Happy Birthday! May you score a century is what I once told him over a STD call. 

If you were around, you would have been 90 today, Baba!

Writing for Friday Reflections today.

Reflections From Me



16 Responses

  1. Shilpa says:

    Ah ! Such a lovely post about your Baba. Very few are lucky to have memories with their grandparents and you are one of them☺️.

  2. Pammy Pam says:

    awwww Happy Birthday Baba.

  3. Your sharing of memories of your Baba brought back a lot of memories of my own paternal grandfather, Parul. He was similarly well-educated, well-read, a diabetic and ruled his family with an iron hand and yet had such a soft touch with his grandchildren. People like them bring so many blessings for generations to come.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Now I Become Myself #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  4. Oh what a wonderful man, I love the way you describe him, he sounds like such a great person and the love you have for him shines through your words, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it with #Fridayreflections

  5. Adorable post Parul…made me remember my grandparents. Glad I landed here..

  6. Janine says:

    Wow there’s nothing like the love between a grandparent and grandchild and this was so incredibly written, Parul. It bought a tear to my eye and made me thing of my Nan who passed a few years back. We must treasure those memories, and you have captured them beautifully. xxx

  7. BellyBytes says:

    you are lucky to meet your grandparents and they are lucky that you appreciate them !

  8. Shilpa Garg says:

    Your love and admiration for your granddad shines through your words in this post! It is a blessing to have had the opportunity to learn and grow and shine in the company of such wonderful soul like him!

  9. sue says:

    How wonderful! My in-laws both turn 90 this year and I am amazed. My parents died in their 60s so they have been gone 30 + years. It is amazing what the older generation can teach us. I love your photograph and it will be something for you to treasure.

  10. Saraallie says:

    I never had grandparents except for my Nani (my mama’s mother), being the youngest child of the family. Losing her was my first real encounter with death and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget what a great woman and grand parent she was …
    I’m sure your Baba is looking at you from somewhere today, smiling (and maybe even saving sweets for you!).

    Nice to have come across your blog!
    ~ Saraallie

  11. I’d say you’ve done pretty well, inculcating those values. Remembering them even today shows that they made a big impact on you… and that’s a good thing, right?
    P.S. Based on this post, I think you may like the newly released ‘Kapoor and Sons’ movie.
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…Surprise! You are worthy of love!My Profile

  12. Nabanita says:

    Grandparents are so special..my paternal grandparents passed away even before I was born. My maternal grandfather passed away when I was 7 or 8 but I still remember the time spent with him. The one I miss the most is my mother’s mom, my Dida..She wasa great lady, a woman par excellence..she used to read every evening and she taught me that. I used to spend all my time with her. One comment isn’t enough to talk about her. I miss her!

  13. Obsessivemom says:

    Grandparents are always special. And if you’re their favourite it’s the best feeling ever. While they might have been strict with our parents they have a whole different side for us.

  14. Vineeta says:

    Absolutely correct .i too miss him a lot . I was the one who always talked a lot with him inspite of being daughter_in-law.it is a real tribute on his birth anniversary that i really loved him as i loved my daddy.

  1. March 27, 2016

    […] Friday Reflections Featured Writer this week is Parul with her wonderful and touching post Happy 90th Baba! Congratulations […]

  2. March 28, 2016

    […] Our Friday Reflections Featured Writer this week is Parul with her wonderful and touching post Happy 90th Baba! Congratulations Parul you may display our Featured Writer Badge on your website, Facebook Page and […]

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