When my friend celebrated his birthday, I still remember I messaged him at 12 A.M. by keeping my eyes ajar using clips! So that I don’t fall asleep .We never miss any opportunity to show our dear friends that they have a lot of importance in our life. I also remember buying a Rs.1000+ gift for him just to show that ‘I’ll give you whatever you like no money matters for me’. When I gave it to him he said thanks to me and smiled .Our firm bond of amity was strengthened even more but ‘Did I do any such thing for my grandparents?’
“Well, there’s no need of doing anything for them now, because grandparents will always be ‘grand’ who have procured fame for forgetting small things, in the modern era.”
This is what we think about them being a youth but it isn’t so …
Grandparents remember every special event of their and our life, and when asked about it they can give you an accurate account of what happened with second to second detailed information. You won’t believe me but I can uphold this fact and prove it to you by dint of my own story.
Before 20 years when I was an innocent and cute child, my birthday was celebrated with great enthusiasm and to search my parents I had to stand on the table, such was the crowd. When I cut the cake, the knife was held by four other people as if I was going to stab it into someone’s stomach, if set free. While my birthday was being celebrated, my grandfather was smiling and clapping, looking at me .Though I preferred to look down at the cake. When the party was proclaimed to have concluded and everyone went home, I was unwrapping my gifts keenly with my grandfather sitting beside me and giving the same expressions that I gave.
That time I asked him “Grandpa, when do you celebrate your birthday? Whenever it may be we will have a bigger party as you are my ‘grand’ pa”.
“Dear son, your great grandpa didn’t remember the day when I was born therefore no birthday party for me” he smiled and said.
“But that’s not fair!” I exclaimed as if protesting against something very uninviting for me.
“How are you going to get the presents if you wouldn’t celebrate your birthday?”I took everything very seriously though he just smiled at whatever I said.
After thinking over the matter for some time I finally came to a necessitated conclusion and started again “Ok! 1st may is my birthday and you are my ‘grandpa’ so your birth date should be greater than mine. It should be….5th may.”
Everyone was listening to whatever I said and to please me it was decided that his birthday will be celebrated my grandfather celebrated his birthday on 5th may. The only gift he got was a 5 page birthday card which was handmade and no doubt it was made by me.
That day, for the first time i saw tears in the eyes of my blissful grandfather and the reason he gave was that he was celebrating the first birthday of his life and felt special but not a single word got into my mind and i said “oh! So you got only one gift that’s why you are crying .no problem gramps, you’ll get more gifts next year .keep hope alive”.
For the next two years we celebrated his birthday and now he also waited fervently for his birthday though not for the cake but for my birthday card.
After some years no one was free to gratify me so, the only birthday celebrated in May was my birthday. Gradually even i forgot about his birthday as for many years he lived at his home and not with us. After a long time, when i was all set to became 16.he came to visit us on my birthday and had planned to stay with us for a week .like the early kindergarten days , i was not interested in talking to that old man though i didn’t know that he was.
Whenever he wished to talk to me i would get busier in my work and he would step back so that i shouldn’t get disturbed.
I celebrated my birthday happily with my friends but this time i was in the club and he was at home. I came back started unwrapping my gifts and this time he wasn’t sitting next to me as i didn’t want him to be there and comment on my friend’s gifts. The core problem was he thought that i was still a child and he was right at his place but i was grown up for me.
After a few days the date on the calendar was 5th may .by now each and every one of us had absolutely forgot about that day’s importance and it was just like the other week days. Grandpa used to go church at night but that day he woke up early. Dressed up nicely, as if going to a wedding and then ran to the church at tortoise speed. We thought that he had opted a new habit but when he came back, he brought a big pack of sweets and distributed it among us.
There were two things in my mind at that moment. First ‘diabetics don’t eat sweet. So why did he bring them’ and second ‘is there something special today’. The first one seemed to be a childish one but the second one forced my mind to think and think that why did an 80 years old man bring sweets from the shop that are miles away and that too in the morning hours, unfortunately i couldn’t get the answer so i had to ask him the reason to put a halt on my curiosity.
I enquired “grandpa is there something special today?” He exclaimed “don’t you remember, it’s 5th may today”. The most special day of my life!
All of us starred at him lethargically and i became even more perplexed. We felt annoyed because that man was wasting our valuable time .therefore to end up this affair i asked him straightforwardly “ok, so now would you please tell me why this 5th may is special for you?”
From the morning itself he was smiling like a flower and while replying to me his face became even graceful and like a 4 year old boy he said “it’s …… my birthday”
His reply was followed by a long silence. My father thought, we need to take him to the hospital. My sister thought ‘poor grandpa is losing his nerves’ and my mother thought ‘is it a time to eat sweets and joke?’ but what came to my mind was entirely different.
Within a second the conversation with him while unwrapping my gifts were recollected in my mind and i was not knowing what’s next. Firstly i thought to laugh at him as he took that thing of no great concern so gravely but when i looked into his eyes i thought to cry at the fact that he still remembered that childish talk and made it a part of his life.
I chose to do the later one and burst into tears as i hugged him. By now he had read my mind and to value my emotions he accompanied me in crying.
It appeared to be a scene of an Indian film of 80’s though everything was true. I was still surprised and kept asking him “you remember it?” And he said the same thing again and again quite indifferently “yes, i do!”
That day the grandfather and grandson’s relation reached the abyss of emotions and i began caring for him as he cared for my words. I didn’t find him boring and old anymore and he was like a close friend of mine. I shared my problems with him and he took immense interest in solving them.
You rarely find a sixteen years old boy talking to his eighty years old grandfather in such an informal way and both showing keen interest in each other’s thoughts. One day he told me that “when i talk to you, i feel my life has some worth and somebody in this world is still eager to support me”. I knew that his every word was coming straight from his heart and were not to butter anyone.
To my great disappointment a week has merely 7 days.
He was ready with his luggage and was waiting for the train at the station which was scheduled to arrive at dawn, when i prefer to sleep but that day i didn’t sleep. I stood on the platform with him until the train arrived .it seemed to be our last meeting as we talked about every subject as fast as we could so that none of them should be left out.
Though we promised to meet again shortly, it never happened.
Its four years since he passed away and today is 5th of may. I stood in front of his sepulcher which read ‘r.i.p. Mr.kel branson.5th may 18xx – 27th august’1910.i had a card in my hand. I placed it gently over the sepulcher and after keeping it without uttering a single word i came back home. As, my thought went riding a hundred miles to the door of heaven to wish my grandpa, happy birthday.
I know my grandpa listened to me as a gentle breeze opened the card and the rising sun said ‘thanks’ to me for making him feel special once again on his special day.