There are no words that can do our grandfather justice. Rather than attempting the impossible, we will simply say what he meant to us.
Some of our most intimate moments include the revealing of his dentures to make us laugh, him saying ‘Get down from there!’when we climbed trees and humouring our inquisitive minds. We grew up on stories of the freedom struggle he was involved in, so much so that when we were very young, some of us, upon being asked what we would like to be when we grew up, promptly replied ‘freedom fighter’.
He described his early life as a school teacher when he would catch any errant schoolboy and start quizzing him on English grammar and translations until the boy would make some excuses and run away. He also talked to us about his youth as a student leader steeped in socialist ideology that led to his active community development work. There were stories of ghosts he saw on his way to and from his college and village home, told with great relish which saw us shaking in horror.
We always saw him caring for our grandmother, not shying from even the most menial household work. Dignity in any kind of work is what he believed in. He taught us the importance of writing and though some of us began a journal, we didn’t have his patience to record as he did. To many our grandfather was a positive public figure. He inspired us to love our country, to keep writing and above all, to be fair and just.
– Mondeep, Mritikka, Duboree, Sidhant, Sapratibh, Harshit (grandchildren)