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Someone once said “A grandfather is a person with silver in his hair and gold in his heart”. It couldn’t get truer than this.
On the cold morning of December 2014, when I was due for delivering my baby, my mother was with me for the entire process holding my hand and comforting me. But the one person who was pacing the entire hospital corridor frantically and taking care of each and every minute details was – no guesses for that – my father.. My mom could actually talk, console me and try to comfort me through my pains. But my dad, however scared he was from inside, he had to be this strong, tough and resilient man single handedly dealing with a double trauma of watching his daughter in pain and waiting patiently to see the face of his first grandchild. No surprise that the moment he took my daughter in his hands, it was an instant connection between them. It was he who gave my baby her first name, it was he who first shared her picture everywhere within the first hour of her birth. Both of them have formed an unbreakable bond which I happily and proudly get to witness every day of my life.
Grandfathers, are truly a blessing. They already have done a herculean task of raising their own children. But with their experience, wisdom, love and affection, they weave magic in the lives of their grandchildren. Our generation, I feel, was a little lucky because we got a huge time to spend with our grandfathers. Wasn’t he the first person to go to with all of our demands of chocolates and candies and ice creams? Today it’s the same when my daughter adores her grandfather. Although there are numerous aspects of our kids’ lives which gets illuminated due to the presence of grandfathers, I feel below are some of the things we just can’t do without them.
Love, pride, adoration.
Grandfathers love the most, adore the most and are feel the proudest. They are the ones who will go on telling the entire society, the whole colony, their entire friend circle about how their “potee” is now crawling, or sitting or walking or doing any other new thing. We might not feel excited about a small progress in our children’s growth but the grandfathers will be so proud and happy about the minutest of the activity of their grandchildren that the entire world will know of it.
Care to the level of paranoia.
You know what I mean. Let the baby just slip her feet as little as an inch and the grandfathers will make sure that they don’t leave her side for the next two hours. They will call the doctor, get the lotions, ointments, medicines themselves. And still if they are not satisfied, they will ask the grandma to again give the baby a hot water massage. So much so that sometimes, I feel, they themselves get sick with all the cautions. And God forbid, if the baby falls sick, they will be all around the house giving instructions and sitting next to the baby the whole day.
Stories and jokes.
My father is popular amongst all my nephews/nieces and my younger cousins for the stories and jokes he shares. And I am now eagerly waiting when my own daughter will be old enough to understand and enjoy the stories. Grandfathers, I guess are the best story tellers because they just don’t tell them, they enact them. With their funny voices, actions, spontaneous jokes and dialogues, they make it all the more exciting and interesting for kids. And with their years of wisdom, the stories are always filled with the indirect “gyan and sanskars”. Children, unknowingly absorb it which I guess makes the foundation of their value system.
Patience. Patience and more patience.
Accept it. We don’t have it in us to run around our children for hours to feed them. The grandpas have it !! They will make sure that they themselves become kids and make the kids clear their plates. It doesn’t matter to them that in the process they have ruined their clothes, hands and sometimes hair as well. But they are happy. Also, be it convincing the kids about any damn thing and pacifying their anger, tantrums, they do it without losing their cool.
Do I say anything more ?? Yes, they are the ones who do it most of the times. They also teach news tricks to do the sums, new way to draw, new methods to memorize and so on. Sometimes, they are also the ones to do the arts and craft projects getting their hands colored and faces colored in the process.
Values, morals and wisdom.
No doubt about this. The values they give becomes the foundation stones for the children to build on. Right from how to respect the elders, how to behave in family gatherings, what is wrong, what is right, how not to lie, the importance of hard work and honesty, bonding between the family, everything comes from their “gyan ki potli”. And this is not just a single persons experience but the wisdom of generations of the family. Its actually the secret treasure from this old and happy magician.
The great poet Gulzar has written a beautiful poem when his grandson was born. I shall put it here.