Riding miles to celebrate Grandpa's special day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
relations matter..

Submitted: August 31, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 31, 2013

A A A

A A A


When my friend had his birthday, I remember staying up late to be the first one to wish him...We never miss any opportunity to show our dear friends the affection and affinity we have towards them; that they have a lot of importance in our life. I also remember buying him a gift that wrecked my pocket money but I did so just to let him know that when it’s about our friendship no money matters to me. When I gave it to him he said thanks and greeted me with a genial smile. Our firm bond of amity was strengthened even more.
Now wonder if we have ever bothered to do anything as such for our parents or to make no exception, for our grandparents?

“Well, there’s no need of doing anything for them, because with the wearing out skin, wrinkled face and fleeting memory grandparents have procured infamy for forgetting things. Be them weighty or trivial. ”This is what we think about them being young, full of beans and generations ahead of them but …

Grandparents remember every special occasion of their and their loved ones lives, and when asked about it they can give an accurate account of the episode with second to second details. You won’t believe me nice and easy so let me uphold my saying 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 look for my parents I had to stand tall on someone’s back or shout in the shrill child’s voice to get their attention. Such was the crowd. When I cut the cake, the knife was held by four other people as if I were to stab someone if set free. While my b’day was celebrated, my grandfather smiling and clapping, with his clap going out of rhythm again and again would looking at me with widest of smiles showing off his aging profile. Though I preferred to look down at the cake which with the cherries and candles made my name on it shine and was the object for my meditation. When the party was over and the last of guests for bid thank you and farewell, I started unwrapping my gifts keenly with my grandfather sitting beside me aping my expressions.

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 ‘graaaand’ pa”.

“Dear son, your great grandpa didn’t remember the date I was born so no party for me” he smiled and said satisfying my query.

“But that’s not fair!” I exclaimed in protest. To me, the carelessness of my great grandpa was worth being rebuked.

“How are you going to get the presents if you don’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 listened to what I said and to please me it was decided that his birthday will be celebrated.
Hence, my grandfather celebrated his birthday on 5th may and the only gift he got was a 5 page handmade birthday card which of course was made by me.

That day, for the first time i saw tears in the eyes of my ever smiling 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. He waited fervently for it though not for the cake and not to feel special but for the card I made him .I worked so dedicatedly on it with all the crayons and sketches that I used to forgot the glass of warm milk served to me.
Grandpa would walk past my room and peep in as I would shout trying to hide my efforts as, if seen before time they would have much to lose.  

After some years no one was free to gratify me so, the only birthday celebrated in May was mine. Gradually even i forgot about his birthday as for many years he lived with my uncle miles away and I didn’t ever bother to communicate.
 After a long time, (a decade later, to be precise) when I was all set to add another year to my age...he came to visit us and had decided to stay for a week. The news didn’t excite me, it was rather uninviting because then I had to share my washroom and bed with him. The very picture of him snorting laying beside me was awful.
And then he arrived adding life to the picture!
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 but this time he wasn’t sitting next to me as i didn’t want him to. I couldn’t take a man with little knowledge of friendship and presents sitting next to me and commenting on them. 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 its importance whatsoever and it was just like any other week days. Grandpa used to go to church at dusk but that day he woke up early, and sprinted to the church (at a pace at which I stroll!) . He wore a golden suit. The same one that he wore on my birthday expecting an invitation. We thought that he had opted a new habit of walking and worshipping in the morning but when he came back, he brought us pastries and with the zeal of a man half his age gave it to us and took a small piece for himself.

I juggled a few thoughts in my mind, three of them in fact. ‘I hadn’t brushed yet’ and then ‘diabetics don’t eat sweet. So why did he bring them’ and the most deliciously inciting ‘is there something special today? ’. I let the first two be secondary ,it was the third one that got me thinking what made an 80 years old man bring pastries  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 to my curiosity.

I enquired “grandpa what are we celebrating, you not diabetic anymore?”  He exclaimed “Nah! Don’t you remember, its 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 .it was morning after all who had the time to stand and see his grandpa go nuts! So to end up this affair i asked him straightforwardly “ok, so now would you please tell us 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 more graceful and like a 4 year old he said “it’s”, he paused as if we were to complete but after a halt he exclaimed …… “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 time to eat pastries and joke?’ but what came to my mind was entirely different.

Within a speck of time the conversation I had with him while unwrapping my gifts a decade ago was recollected in my mind and I didn’t know what was 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, that had a glow to them and his face whose every bit was smiling, tears from my eye sought the floor and I hugged him to give him the warmest of hugs. He too accompanied me as he understood what emotions had seized his grandson. He had taken seriously that childish talk and made it a part of his life.

It sounds melodramatic but everything was true and even a day later I was just as surprised as earlier. Time and again I asked him “You still 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 had cared for my words. I didn’t find him boring and old anymore.
Seeds of friendship were sown in our relationship.
 

You rarely find a teenager talking to his eighty years old grandfather with such profound interest and enthusiasm; with both showing keen interest in each other’s thoughts.

One day he told me “When I talk to you, i feel my life hasn’t lost its worth yet and somebody in this world is still willing to support me”.
I knew that his every word came straight from his heart and were not to make me feel good. I had now become proud of him, his old age and the intellect he had.

To my great disappointment a weeks’ time had passed.
It was midnight; I remember well, he was ready with his luggage, waiting for his train. I stood there next to him on platform. The air had an uncanny drift as if rejecting his seclusion. I couldn’t help but think how our solitary existence would be. Picturing him without me on the garden bench made me feel incomplete. It felt as if I was failing in my duty. The duty of being with him, sustaining the worth of his life, as he said.

The train whistle blew and he departed promising to meet again shortly,

But, it never happened. He failed to keep his promise coz may be I failed to give him ample of love to live for.

It’s been four years since he passed away.
Today being 5th of May. I stood in front of his sepulcher

R.I.P.
Kel Branson.
5/5/18xx-27/8/1910.

 I had a card in my hand that I gently placed over it andreceded home with no words uttered. As, my thought went riding miles to the door of heaven to wish him,

“Happy Birthday”.

I know my grandpa listened to me as a gentle breeze opened the card and the rising sun showed gratitude for making him feel special on his special day.

 

 

When my friend had his birthday, I remember staying up late to be the first one to wish him...We never miss any opportunity to show our dear friends the affection and affinity we have towards them; that they have a lot of importance in our life. I also remember buying him a gift that wrecked my pocket money but I did so just to let him know that when it’s about our friendship no money matters to me. When I gave it to him he said thanks and greeted me with a genial smile. Our firm bond of amity was strengthened even more.
Now wonder if we have ever bothered to do anything as such for our parents or to make no exception, for our grandparents?

“Well, there’s no need of doing anything for them, because with the wearing out skin, wrinkled face and fleeting memory grandparents have procured infamy for forgetting things. Be them weighty or trivial. ”This is what we think about them being young, full of beans and generations ahead of them but …

Grandparents remember every special occasion of their and their loved ones lives, and when asked about it they can give an accurate account of the episode with second to second details. You won’t believe me nice and easy so let me uphold my saying 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 look for my parents I had to stand tall on someone’s back or shout in the shrill child’s voice to get their attention. Such was the crowd. When I cut the cake, the knife was held by four other people as if I were to stab someone if set free. While my b’day was celebrated, my grandfather smiling and clapping, with his clap going out of rhythm again and again would looking at me with widest of smiles showing off his aging profile. Though I preferred to look down at the cake which with the cherries and candles made my name on it shine and was the object for my meditation. When the party was over and the last of guests for bid thank you and farewell, I started unwrapping my gifts keenly with my grandfather sitting beside me aping my expressions.

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 ‘graaaand’ pa”.

“Dear son, your great grandpa didn’t remember the date I was born so no party for me” he smiled and said satisfying my query.

“But that’s not fair!” I exclaimed in protest. To me, the carelessness of my great grandpa was worth being rebuked.

“How are you going to get the presents if you don’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 listened to what I said and to please me it was decided that his birthday will be celebrated.
Hence, my grandfather celebrated his birthday on 5th may and the only gift he got was a 5 page handmade birthday card which of course was made by me.

That day, for the first time i saw tears in the eyes of my ever smiling 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. He waited fervently for it though not for the cake and not to feel special but for the card I made him .I worked so dedicatedly on it with all the crayons and sketches that I used to forgot the glass of warm milk served to me.
Grandpa would walk past my room and peep in as I would shout trying to hide my efforts as, if seen before time they would have much to lose.  

After some years no one was free to gratify me so, the only birthday celebrated in May was mine. Gradually even i forgot about his birthday as for many years he lived with my uncle miles away and I didn’t ever bother to communicate.
 After a long time, (a decade later, to be precise) when I was all set to add another year to my age...he came to visit us and had decided to stay for a week. The news didn’t excite me, it was rather uninviting because then I had to share my washroom and bed with him. The very picture of him snorting laying beside me was awful.
And then he arrived adding life to the picture!
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 but this time he wasn’t sitting next to me as i didn’t want him to. I couldn’t take a man with little knowledge of friendship and presents sitting next to me and commenting on them. 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 its importance whatsoever and it was just like any other week days. Grandpa used to go to church at dusk but that day he woke up early, and sprinted to the church (at a pace at which I stroll!) . He wore a golden suit. The same one that he wore on my birthday expecting an invitation. We thought that he had opted a new habit of walking and worshipping in the morning but when he came back, he brought us pastries and with the zeal of a man half his age gave it to us and took a small piece for himself.

I juggled a few thoughts in my mind, three of them in fact. ‘I hadn’t brushed yet’ and then ‘diabetics don’t eat sweet. So why did he bring them’ and the most deliciously inciting ‘is there something special today? ’. I let the first two be secondary ,it was the third one that got me thinking what made an 80 years old man bring pastries  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 to my curiosity.

I enquired “grandpa what are we celebrating, you not diabetic anymore?”  He exclaimed “Nah! Don’t you remember, its 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 .it was morning after all who had the time to stand and see his grandpa go nuts! So to end up this affair i asked him straightforwardly “ok, so now would you please tell us 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 more graceful and like a 4 year old he said “it’s”, he paused as if we were to complete but after a halt he exclaimed …… “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 time to eat pastries and joke?’ but what came to my mind was entirely different.

Within a speck of time the conversation I had with him while unwrapping my gifts a decade ago was recollected in my mind and I didn’t know what was 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, that had a glow to them and his face whose every bit was smiling, tears from my eye sought the floor and I hugged him to give him the warmest of hugs. He too accompanied me as he understood what emotions had seized his grandson. He had taken seriously that childish talk and made it a part of his life.

It sounds melodramatic but everything was true and even a day later I was just as surprised as earlier. Time and again I asked him “You still 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 had cared for my words. I didn’t find him boring and old anymore.
Seeds of friendship were sown in our relationship.
 

You rarely find a teenager talking to his eighty years old grandfather with such profound interest and enthusiasm; with both showing keen interest in each other’s thoughts.

One day he told me “When I talk to you, i feel my life hasn’t lost its worth yet and somebody in this world is still willing to support me”.
I knew that his every word came straight from his heart and were not to make me feel good. I had now become proud of him, his old age and the intellect he had.

To my great disappointment a weeks’ time had passed.
It was midnight; I remember well, he was ready with his luggage, waiting for his train. I stood there next to him on platform. The air had an uncanny drift as if rejecting his seclusion. I couldn’t help but think how our solitary existence would be. Picturing him without me on the garden bench made me feel incomplete. It felt as if I was failing in my duty. The duty of being with him, sustaining the worth of his life, as he said.

The train whistle blew and he departed promising to meet again shortly,

But, it never happened. He failed to keep his promise coz may be I failed to give him ample of love to live for.

It’s been four years since he passed away.
Today being 5th of May. I stood in front of his sepulcher

R.I.P.
Kel Branson.
5/5/18xx-27/8/1910.

 I had a card in my hand that I gently placed over it andreceded home with no words uttered. As, my thought went riding miles to the door of heaven to wish him,

“Happy Birthday”.

I know my grandpa listened to me as a gentle breeze opened the card and the rising sun showed gratitude for making him feel special on his special day.

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Awaneesh Shukla. All rights reserved.

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