Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Grandfather V and N do not have

10th July.
This day is the birthday of my father in law. 
I have never met him.
He expired three years before I got married and came to live in his house.

Whatever connection I have with my husband's father is through everything that I have asked him or his mother. Please note, that its only what I have asked. As Saurabh and Ma, usually never bring him up. I understand it. But I am curious to know how he was. How he spoke, how he reacted, how he ate, how he prayed.......So I have a connection. I miss the presence of a father in my house. I will never know how it is to have a father in law! Yes, I do miss him.

When V and N happened to me, I knew what they were going to miss in the absence of a Dadaji especially when they see friends or cousins or neighbors with one. I knew it will be just them who will not enjoy this relationship. I did not grow up with either of my grandfathers, but Saurabh did. So I have heard fond stories of  them pampering the kids bad and how my parents in law were kept away from all the mischief. When I brought Viraj into his house for the first time, I took him in front of Papa's picture and cried for 5 minutes. I cried because I know he was very fond of kids. All of Saurabh's cousins tell me tales of Papa spoiling them or going out of the way for their well being. Just the thought that his real grandsons will miss all this, pained. 

Hence Saurabh and I consciously took the onus upon us to keep some sort of a connection alive between our sons and the Grandfather they do not have. 

  • I have made him a star. However cliched it may read, but it has worked in our case. Often when I am waiting on our terrace for Saurabh to come back home, me and the kids have spoken to the star that looks the brightest. Kids love the fact that Dadaji is also waiting for Papa to be home.
  • Every festival, birthday or a happy occasion isn't complete without V and N acknowledging their Dadaji's picture. They are encouraged to share every news (good or bad) with him and they are assured that he has heard them.
  • We visit a blind school where Papa contributed every month on his Birth and Death anniversary. V and N believe that whatever food or goodies they distribute there goes into Dadaji's tummy.
  • We tell them how he would have loved to take them for rides on his scooter. Or how he would have scolded their Papa if he ever saw him scolding them. We tell them that he would have fetched them from their Bus stop or accompanied them for their cycle learning days. Its our effort to let them know that wherever he maybe, he must be missing all this too. But God needed him more than us as he was just so good that even God couldn't do without him :)
  • They do have paternal grandfathers, from both Ma and Papa's family.  Luckily since Saurabh is the oldest in his family, all these Dadajis have spent exclusive times with my sons without any distractions of having other children around them. This meant a lot for me in the initial years as at least this word held meaning when they touched their feet or went around the house holding their finger.

I am aware that I can never fill the gap that God created in our lives. But this morning when Viraj wished his Dadaji a Happy Birthday- he turned to me and said- "I am going to tell all my friends that even my Dadaji has a birthday"- I felt happy that we have been able to keep him relevant in his grandsons' hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Have tears in my eyes as I read this.. Naisha & Krisha miss their Nanu, and in some ways similar I do try and keep the connection going. Its the love we nurture in their hearts that will keep the bond alive.