My Nana was a truly remarkable man. For as long as I can remember he has had snow white hair and heavy spectacles. He had a tattoo on his wrist that read B.K.R., his initials. He would always be dressed in his trademark home-stitched vest and shorts at home, dressing up only when he had to go somewhere. A man of strong opinions and values, he helped everyone he came across without worrying about whether or not that person was capable of returning the favor. He was fond of playing harmonium and singing along with his friends. He even participated and organized cultural programmes at Geeta Bhavan, a community hall that he co-founded and helped build. Very vivacious and active, he had a mind that knew no bounds. He learned to operate the computer, type in Hindi and work on accounting software. He would manage the tax returns for the entire family, dispense advice on financial matters and even dabble in the share market. Simple mechanics and household electrical jobs were child’s play for him. In my life of 25 years, I am yet to come across a single person so full of skills. He taught me maths in the middle school, in spite of the fact that there was a difference in the medium of instruction he had studied in. He learned and taught me. I learned algebra and geometry from him. He loved to walk. We would want to take rickshaws and tempos in spite of being young but he would walk a couple of kilometres like it was nothing. Ever so vivacious an full of energy, he would always be ready top work or go out to the market. Whenever we would go to nani’s place, he would get tasty snacks, jalebis, samosas and mango-shake for us. He would keep asking if we wanted to eat something special. Nana’s booming voice with a loving tinge to it was something that roused us from whatever we were doing, whenever we heard it when he came over to our place. He would have his typical ‘laiya ki dalmoth’ and sugarless ‘chai’, everytime he was there. He loved to cook. He could manage complex things like pooris and gulabjamuns. No wonder that all his parties were self catered, where he often played the chef. Every Holi, he would play with us, quietly allowing us to put as much colour on his white hair as we wanted. On Diwali’s he would perofm the puja and come to give us the ‘tyohari’.
He’ll never do any of these things again. His mortal body was in too much pain. But he is at a better place now. Free from pain and suffering, playing among clouds that match the color of his hair. He is looking down on us, like our guardian angel.
He will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. He is survived by his wife, three children, relatives and a multitude of friends & well wishers.