Dreaming by day, doing by night

To the greatest man who lived — March 8, 2016

To the greatest man who lived

This post is dedicated to the greatest man who ever lived. I hope that wherever you are, you’re content and happy.

I will never forget the stories you told me, of the adventures you had, your progressive attitude, your love and passion for carnatic music, and most of all, your faith in your children and grandchildren. You were practical and right about everything and the coolest grandfather anyone could have.

If there was something I learnt from Muthashan, it was to give your heart and soul to the task at hand. He was always diligent and devoted to whatever he did and never multitasked. He didn’t believe in it.

From folding laundry so well that the clothes seemed as if they had gone through a round of ironing, to the impeccable way he counted and calculated the number of flowers required to make a garland, to the utmost concentration he gave when he listened to music, to the time he gave in cutting vegetables so that each diced carrot was of the same size, to the precision of the retelling of the stories he had read, to morning and evening prayers, he was extremely dedicated and passionate.

Apart from being a brilliant grandfather, he was also an excellent teacher- he helped me learn Malayalam, and taught English to so many of my relatives.

He also loved us so much, it was a great feeling to know that a man like that could love so much. Every summer spent with my grandparents was always eventful because they were there beside me. I loved playing on the swing set when I was little, my grandfather pushing that little plank I sat on attached to ropes and as a surprise, the next summer I arrived, he had gotten a large swing custom made, just for me. My grandfather, despite his heart problem, even joined me in playing badminton one summer, and boy, was he good. He slept beside me every afternoon and regaled me with tales of his encounters at the office, or mythological fables, or something he had read out of a book recently. He loved Ayn Rand and absolutely adored war movies and watched them with fervor. He even gave me word to word descriptions of the things he had read that always left me flabbergasted with his ability to remember words. I never tried reading it, but I wish I had done it- I think he would have been more than glad to have been able to discuss the book with someone. Now I know the next book I’m going to read.

He loved to talk. He talked so much that during his later years, we had to tell him not to talk that much because it interfered with his breathing. But he never did small talk. His words always had wisdom behind them.

He loved his house and the helped the land around it become green as ever and made sure to plant the right trees in the right place in our yard. He supervised everything that was part of the place. Even as he watched it burn down in front of his eyes, he stayed strong and simply helped my grandmother build a new house. He was a source of strength and inspiration for so many of us.

He lived a full life, with adventures, and with the people he loved. He suffered a lot, in terms of how the people around him were. But he never gave up.

I swallow down tears as I write this because oh God, I miss him so much it hurts. It’s not only missing him, there’s also that little bit of regret and hopelessness that surrounds it. It’s not explainable in one word.

I have never seen any other man like him and I’m sure I never will. One doesn’t just stumble upon people like him. He was one in a ten billion, his perfectionist attitude just a tiny part of his great personality.

But this is how it is, isn’t it? Death is inevitable, and unpredictable- as I learnt from this experience. But we all want that one last chance. I wish I could’ve talked to him one last time, feel his calloused and knobbly, yet surprisingly tender hands clasp mine, and wish me luck.

I wish I could have met you and talked to you one last time, and I wish I could’ve listened to thousand more of your stories. You always had an inspiring tale that never failed to amaze and entertain me and your unlimited knowledge about the world and India’s railway lines always left me awestruck. You are an idol to me and I sincerely hope that wherever you are, you are happy. The world was unfair to you so many times but you never gave up on the world.

I want to thank you for whatever you have done for all the people in your life because without you, we would not be who we are today. You were instrumental in so many things that happened in my life and I wish I could have thanked you for every day that I spoke to you. I will forever be grateful to you for all the things you have done.

Thank you so much.

Here is to the greatest man in the world.
Rest in peace, Muthasha. I love you.