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Memories, Tribute and Hope!

April 23, 2009

 beach

Circa: 1994, Chennai

Mr. NNI stood by the shore with his little grandson and watched on, as the sea gulls comfortably battled the breeze.

He loved coming to the Besant Nagar beach for his evening walk along with his grandson and the kid loved it. NNI was strong for his age and the beach always brought back memories; memories of an age, now hidden under the many wrinkles that he had. As any resident of Chennai, NNI loved coming to the beach especially during summer and during Agni Nakshatharam (Hottest part of May). The heat was a curse to Chennai much like Snow to Srinagar; a curse to be enjoyed and NNI was no different.  The beach also had an old world charm to it even though it was crowded.

But more importantly, NNI loved the trip to the beach because of that young kid. That hour or so, spent in the beach was quality time that he could spend with his grandson. NNI loved talking about his country, his state and his city and the young kid, who lapped it all up; always was ready for the next story. NNI loved talking about his youth, about the essence and spirit of India, the ideals on which it was formed and the power of the common man.

He loved telling the young kid about that special day August 15th 1947, about how their joy knew no bounds, knew no limits. The stories also included tales of his own grandfather Mr. NKI, a staunch nationalist and a poet, who broke down in tears when he heard the “Tryst with destiny” speech by Nehru through the radio; about how their food was rationed during WW II and about life way back in those days.

The grandson lived for those evening walks with his grandfather. The young kid developed his interest in Human History and Geography thanks to NNI and his favorites included the tales of Mahatma Gandhi and Rajaji who NNI had personally met and tales from the Mahabharata. 

Circa: 2009, 8969 miles away from Chennai

Years had come, years had gone. The kid had grown up but he still had those memories with him. Any visit to any beach reminded him of those days and his grandfather’s ideals and force of character which he knew that he could never match atleast in this lifetime.

Many of the things that his grandfather said and did made sense to him, only after he grew up and he felt remorse that he had not learnt enough from his grandfather when he had the opportunity.

—————————-

India was supposed to have its “Tryst with Destiny” way back in 1947 but the people have still not realized that they need to be the “catalyst” to bring about that “tryst“!!

I just hope that people vote for the right people in the future (in this election?) thus ensuring that we really make good on that promise so that we move forward together in the right direction.

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. sraboneyghose permalink
    April 23, 2009 3:09 am

    Very well written…I too remember the holidays I spent with my maternal grandmother; I wish I had paid more attention to her…

    Who are the right people? I’m still trying to figure that out…

    OG: thanks Bones…. search for right people continues…..:)

  2. April 23, 2009 3:41 am

    Ah Amen to that 🙂

    Why is idealism a dream of the old and hope of the young? where do the middle aged go ?
    OG: middle aged are the people who rule… 😛 😛

    • April 23, 2009 5:23 am

      Why then pray tell me all the PM candidates are 80+ ? 😉

      OG: every rule has an exception… 😛

  3. April 23, 2009 4:58 am

    OG, You should be published. Beautiful!

    I remember the time spent with my Appuppan (Paternal) during our Kerala visits. We would go for long walks and he would narrate his Singapore tales. We grew veggies together and I also always stole from his paakupetti (Betel leaf box). I loved the taste 😀 😀

    @Meens: Middle aged people are the ones who get kicked from both ends 😀
    OG: Thanks Solilo!!! nyaan parakatte 🙂 😛 😛
    Yes, grandparents are a great source of stories and wisdom….. 🙂 I am blessed with 4 great ones and LOL at paakupetti…. 🙂
    and LOL at middle aged people as well!!!!

    • April 23, 2009 5:24 am

      @middle aged.. I agree 😀

      @paakku.. sweetened one is so nice.. The only thing we did when we went to marriages was to steal them ‘Roja paakku’ 😀 😀

      • April 23, 2009 4:24 pm

        Winnie – I remember Roja Paaku at wedding too!!!!
        OG: 😛 😛

  4. April 23, 2009 5:01 am

    BTW Snow is not a curse to Kashmiris. They actually welcome the first Snow. They dance, drink and eat in the snow that day. An old tradition. Of course Snow was a problem for us (

    OG: okay…. 🙂 Thanks for “informasion”….. 🙂 I have never been up north…..

    • April 23, 2009 5:25 am

      Nor is the heat curse then 😉 ppl make wonderful vadaam.. and tasty mango pickles in heat 😀 😀
      OG: Amen to that!!!!

      • April 23, 2009 5:00 pm

        Me loves the Summer even the Arizonian summer. So YAY to heat.
        OG: I have personally experienced nothing more than LA heat!!!

        • April 24, 2009 5:32 am

          Arizona will fry you inside out 😀 and I think I am the only one who loves the place. I don’t mind settling in Scottsdale, AZ.

  5. April 23, 2009 5:26 am

    Okay am kidding.. i hate chennai.. simbly for its heat n humidity!
    OG: I love the heat! 😦

  6. Quirky Indian permalink
    April 23, 2009 6:00 am

    What are you doing in software, OG? You should be a writer.

    Though it must be said that I have also enjoyed your descriptions of life in software.

    Guess you can be both.

    Cheers,
    Quirky Indian
    OG: Thanks QI for the compliment!!! Thanks A LOT!!!
    I am not good at my job…. 🙂 and yes, I am preparing for my MBA… 🙂

  7. April 23, 2009 6:12 am

    Very beautifully written, very poignant….I was just trying to imagine Eliot’s beach in 1947….

    Our tryst with destiny has been been somewhat stalled by our lack of trust in the leaders who were expected to keep that vision firmly in mind. Let us hope things change for the better, starting from these elections….I am trying not be cynical.
    OG: By far, one of the most exceptional beaches in india…. 🙂
    Yes Sir, let us hope that things get better in future, in this elections…. and yes, hope we move forward as Indians!!!!

  8. April 23, 2009 6:15 am

    Reminded me this quote – “Grandparents n grandkids always get along well bcoz they share a common enemy ” :P…My paternal grandpa was long gone when i was born and my maternal was a small time politician who had no time for us…so it was only my maternal grandma,sadly she was a maths teacher and most of the time was spent revising multiplication tables 😀 :D…

    The right one…hmph..right ones tho keep out of politics 🙂 it is meant for wrong ones
    OG: LOL at quote…. loved it 🙂
    maths teachers….. I hate maths teachers….. 🙂 I had two maths teachers and a college professor in my “Close circle” of relatives….. Hated it…. 🙂
    The right people should get into politics…. I hope that it happens…..

    • June 2, 2009 3:16 pm

      count me in too! in not liking maths teachers 😀
      OG: 😛 😛 😛 LOL!!!

  9. April 23, 2009 6:21 am

    Reminded me this quote – “Grandparents n grandkids always get along well bcoz they share a common enemy ” :P…My paternal grandpa was long gone when i was born and my maternal was a small time politician who had no time for us…so it was only my maternal grandma,sadly she was a maths teacher and most of the time was spent revising multiplication tables 😀 :D…

    The right one…hmph..right ones tho keep out of politics 🙂 looks like it is meant for wrong ones

  10. April 23, 2009 7:55 am

    Beautiful mate . Even I have been lucky enough to be blessed with a Grandfather who has told me countless stories , about Religion,culture and history . Now you have made me miss my favourite beach , Om beach of Gokarna , heard about it ? 🙂 And what was this “vote for the right people” , are you trying to indirectly suggest people for whom should they vote ? 😉 😀

    OG: Thanks man. God bless grandfathers and no, I have not heard of that beach? where is it?
    and I am not suggesting anything. I said vote for right people and not “Right” people… 😛 😛

    • April 23, 2009 4:03 pm

      Oh om beach is beautiful! Its near mangalore 🙂

      Who are the right ppl pray temme 😦

      OG: I dont know 😛 and thanks for beach info

    • April 23, 2009 7:33 pm

      Yep . As Winnie said , it is near Mangalore in a place called Gokarna . The coast line of the beach looks like an Om , hence Om beach .
      OG: okay, will visit that place soon!!!

  11. Mystery permalink
    April 23, 2009 8:18 am

    Lovely post OG.
    Those were the days when we had summer holidays and used to rush tour grand parents’ home and have fun there. i miss those days now 😦

    “Many of the things that his grandfather said and did made sense to him, only after he grew up and he felt remorse that he had not learnt enough from his grandfather when he had the opportunity.” How very true!!

    OG: Thanks Mystery… 😀

  12. April 23, 2009 8:26 am

    Ajit, That was such touching post!! I have such fond memories of my Ammachan(mother’s father) too.. And yes, I too wish I had picked up more from him… Those were such wonderful times.. the grandparent-grandchild bond is one to cherish!

    ‘India was supposed to have its “Tryst with Destiny” way back in 1947 but the people have still not realized that they need to be the “catalyst” to bring about that “tryst“!!’ So true.. We can all make a difference – if we want.. Lets hope people vote for the right people..
    Wonderful Post!
    OG: Thanku Thanku… 🙂 😛

  13. April 23, 2009 3:23 pm

    very beautiful post Ajit.. really touched me.. I don’t have great memories of my grandfather.. an unlucky fellow I am.. 😦

    OG: I am sorry machi!!! but on the good side, you did not have to listen to advice as well!!!

  14. April 25, 2009 7:37 am

    Lovely post. Although I have more memories of my Grandma’s fairy tales but I completely identify with you! 🙂
    Somehow they way things are in India, I sometimes feel that we need another fight for independence to get rid of the scum.
    OG: Grandmothers make the best story tellers!!!!!
    yes dude, completely agree with second line!

  15. April 26, 2009 5:36 pm

    Enjoyed reading this very thought provoking and equally interesting post. I was reminded of my two years, 2006 and 2007, that I spent in Kalakhsetra colony and my daily evening walks along the Elliot’s beach.

    On our tryst with destiny. That speech by Nehru really touches a chord. However we educated urban Indians don’t seem to understand who creates India’s destiny. Our voting figures for Bangalore tell a sorry tale. The figures even after all the hype were – 44 -45% voting in the three urban, literate Bangalore constituencies and 58 % in the rural semi-literate/ illiterate Bangalore constituency. Most companies had given time off for voting too.

    Agree with Quirky Indian’s comment above.

    OG: yes Sir…. The voting has been bad even though we created such a Hype!!!! And Thank you SIr!!!

  16. April 29, 2009 11:55 am

    Amazing and really dumbfounded at the optimism… some times i get so cynical bout my country… !!

    wonder if there is light at the end of the tunnel

    OG: 🙂 there will be dude…. there should!!!

  17. June 2, 2009 3:46 pm

    You write beautifully OG…seriously…I could visualise the beach, the breeze and the interaction between two souls..one young and one experienced 🙂
    OG; 😛 😛 😛

    Nehru Ji’s speech has had a deep effect on me too..

    it never fails to move me..
    OG: 😛 same here, I get goosebumps, each time I read that speech!!!!
    while I know that Nehru Ji had his faults like any other human being…
    yet these words of his are eternal..doesnt it seem like that sometimes?
    OG: 😛 those words will echo till eternity……………….. atleast in my mind!!!
    When will India live by them?

    maybe this is the promising start we were hoping for…

    the era of stability and sanity is here…
    OG: 😛 I do hope so indyeah…… I do hope so……….

    you were lucky OG to have spent that much of time with your grandfather…

    He comes across as a very wise man.. very balanced and very calm…
    OG: 😛 he was a great man with great character… and discipline in life……
    I envy you for this..the conversations you had with him..
    I barely spent any time with my grandparents..they were adorable..but our family was always moving from one place to another..and I was too young to know the questions that I should have asked my grandparents 🙂
    OG: same here, I also wish that I had learnt from them……. I miss my grandfathers a lot………

    do consider an alternate career as a writer if only in your spare time 🙂
    OG: 😛 LOL…. hmm… Thanks!!!!! maybe in the future……. 😛

  18. June 3, 2009 8:06 am

    Lovely post Ajit, and I am here so late!
    This is such a beautiful post. I agree with all that you write beautifully!

    You are lucky to have learnt so much from your grand dad… and from his own personal experiences! I wish I had asked more questions from my grandparents too. Nothing like personal experiences when we remember these important times in human history!

    We are lucky we had our founding fathers or we would have also gone the Pakistan and Bangladesh way. I think the election results were not disappointing, everybody is glad we have a stable government, and the people of India have (atleast for now) said no to violence and hate and the left is also out.

    This is one thought provoking post!

  19. September 12, 2009 5:35 pm

    Years had come, years had gone. The kid had grown up but he still had those memories with him. Any visit to any beach reminded him of those days and his grandfather’s ideals and force of character which he knew that he could never match atleast in this lifetime.

    sigh…..

    this Ezuthukaran EOG will be the death of Crafty
    OG: hehehehe 😛 did you read the others? 😛

    its beautiful. u have a way in ur narration that is so distinct…
    and the optimism of this post is really inspiring.
    OG: thanku thanku 😛
    *million hugs* for this! Am gonna read more of Ezuthukaran EOG… even if its gonna kill me at the end of every post, i tell ya!

    i love dying at hands of literary satisfaction …

    🙂
    OG: wokays, if that is what you want :mrgreen:

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