A Rekindled Relationship

For someone that doesn’t remember most of her childhood, I sure do remember one memory vividly, I was about four years old when my grandfather took me to my first bookshop, it was a small bookstore somewhere in Andheri, his first words as soon as we entered the store were “akshu, you can buy any two books that you want, choose wisely”. Me being the four-year-old child that I was, I obviously picked out the books which had the greatest number of pictures in it. After choosing those two books, I ran back to him excitedly and asked him to check these out. “now, I want you to keep one of these books back” he said, I was as crushed as a four-year-old could be, after much thought, I decided to go with Dr Seuss. After that he took me to the thriller section and picked out a book and handed it to me “this will be your second book” he said. It was a copy of “Peril at end house” by Agatha Christie. It was too many big words for me, I mean I could hardly get through one line without asking him what most words meant. “don’t worry, I will sit with you and we’ll read this together”. On the check out counter, he wrote something on the front page and we left for home. He kept his word and sat with me every night, thirty minutes before my bed time with a dictionary and a pen and helped me finish the book, it took us two months but when we finally finished, he took me out to lunch to celebrate my first novel and we went to the same bookstore to get another copy. I actually could not fathom I’d kept Dr Seuss aside for two months but I was introduced to this whole new world of mystery and I could not wait to find out what it had in store for me and this was all done by one man, my grandfather.

He always says “when you watch a show or something on the television, you’re bound by the vision and sound they choose to show but when you read you are in control of your own imagination”. Working for the RBI, he was constantly on the move, you can almost say he’s stayed in all states of our country, till date he tells me stories about how he made sure to visit different bookstores in each city he was posted, he speaks about his friends he made in those bookstores and how each culture was so different and special in its own way. Like most people he took up his passion full time after his retirement in 1998; he claims to have bought fifteen books altogether the week he got retired! He’s always been there to celebrate my most important moments since the beginning, some may even call him a philosophical man “life is meant to be lived to its fullest akshu, no victory is too small to not be celebrated, even If its something as small as buying a book”. Growing up, we used to go to nearby parks to read, he used to make sure I finished one book at least once a month and then used to take me to buy another one. It was a never-ending cycle but a it was always something I looked forward too. Even though we’re biased towards our favourite authors, J.D Salinger is something we both enjoy and the documentary on his life ‘Salinger’ is one of our go to films.

They say as you grow older, you tend to forget your past- good or bad, I never forgot what he did for me but it got buried, buried somewhere deep in the back of my brain. As I got busy with my education I always made time for books but I somewhat left him behind, the trips to bookstores, reading out chapters from our favourite books; it was all in the past, hardly spent time discussing with him anymore but we never forgot to gift each other books on special occasions but the bond was lost somewhere.

Suddenly, the entire world stopped. The pandemic left bustling cities in a standstill, confined in our homes with nothing but the internet as our only source to communicate with the outside world. While most of us whined during this quarantine (including me for the first few weeks), an old spark rekindled. Being a late sleeper and him being an early riser really works in our favour. We almost sit together everyday at 5 am with a hot cup of coffee talking about the books we’re reading; he talks about the different blogs and articles he reads online and talks to me about life. I spend most of my waking hours talking to him about anything and everything, he always acts too cool asking me if I have no friends since I spend so much time talking to my old man but I know he secretly likes it.

He’s 82 now and livelier than ever, he has this glow on his face every time he talks about something that he loves which is mostly books. He reads a lot of books about well-being and inner peace these days, says that his days of enjoying thriller novels is over but I swear I’ve seen him pick up a copy of Sidney Sheldon occasionally. I believe that if I can be half the person that he is today, I’ll consider my life well lived. He made me fall in love with books and made me what I am today and there’s nowhere to go but up.

 His take on life is to enjoy every moment doing what you love, “Every book has a story akshu and as a reader if you find that story that will be your moment, live in those small moments and you’ll realise that these small moments make permanent  happiness”. Just like most readers, he loves the smell of a new book but says that an old book has a story none of us know and that’s what it makes it so different than a brand-new novel. We’re adding bookshelves in any empty part of the house to make place for all the new books we keep buying, needless to say we’re both compulsive shoppers when it comes to books.

 I’ve known him for about 18 years now and I can strongly say that he is definitely more than the sum of his parts.

  • Akshita Sukhramani

5 thoughts on “A Rekindled Relationship

  1. Great Akshita… The way you described your memory with your Grandfather is so nice… Loved reading every bit of your blog ❤️❤️❤️😍👍

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  2. Wow ! Really enjoyed reading about this lovely bond between u and ur amazing grandpa ❤️. Some simple things and practices structure us in a very important way that builds our future and defines what we are today ☺️

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  3. Very well expressed. The writing and expression clearly reflect how well-read you are. Very heart warming to read about this bond and the lovely legacy he has created for you.

    Like

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