Tag Archives: grandfather

Old man always whispers words of wisdom.


Sometimes we all need little doses of inspiration, slight emotional encouragement and good thoughts to keep us all moving forward as otherwise we might use big big words like, ‘existential crisis.’ We humans have a knack of making simple things look complicated and not only that we have mastered this art. I love when Avril Lavigne sings this song, ‘complicated.’

I mean look at me how simple my life was, the girl who used to play in the kitchen all by herself when she was three today thinks she doesn’t have many friends. But little does she realize that the friends she has our worth their weight in gold. No extra baggage! How complicated was Holly Golightly’s relationship (Audrey Hepburn) when all the time she loved Paul Varjack (George Peppard). Wasn’t it as simple as that in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? But living in such a world we are all but Holy Golightlies.

Well, I have share of my friends and family who, ‘no matter what’ will want to see me smile and be a better human being. One such person is my grandfather whom I fondly call old man. Whenever my spirits turn into smoldering ashes, he always comes up with the right things to say that makes those ash turn into fire. Like a phoenix I rise and then my decisions are usually wise. There are some of his emails and letters that I wanted to share, if it makes somebody smile then I can at least have ‘one’ saintly moment.

The first email was when I was giving journalism a shot and losing hope

Hello Devika
Thank you ever so much for the very nice card, I am more than very sure u will do very well in journalism There is a marked improvement in the skill of letter writing . The work of journalism is like a potters work where the quality of soil is important but much more important is to give a proper shape .
Wishing all the best

The second email is mine where I thanked him for the comment on my blog and I got a wonderful reply.

Thanks Old man. Sometimes I get the idea and it works wonderfully. I met my French teacher today and he almost hugged me, he said that he was very happy and surprised to see me. Didn’t know till now that I was his  #1 student. I am happy that I met him because he is leaving the country on 22nd of this month. Blogging makes me happy, writing actually unleashes the repressed feeling. I will meet you soon, I am so sorry that I don’t call very often these days and I should. Noddy must be keeping everybody busy these days….I met him after such a long time. I hope some good stuff is coming out of hell’s kitchen.

Take Care( and I know you do)
THANKS young lady   keep on writing   not only this permits you to vent you repressed feelings but is a creative art too. Any creative art which brings out your hidden talents and helps make you a better person is worth it. So be at it with more efforts to do better. 

We all have made blunders in life but the good part was that we learnt out of them and didn’t repeat.
Miss you a lot. Noddys presence has warmed up the home though for a very short time   he leaves on 21st evening
lots of love
old man
The third memorable email to him  was on the Christmas Day, 2012 
Hey old man,

 Merry Christmas.

It is very cold and I need to buy for myself a pair of gloves or mittens. I went out today, didn’t want to be stuck up in the house and that was a very good change. I bought this wonderful book, “Maharani” by Ruskin Bond. The best words to describe the book are, “rib tickling.” A story of spoiled, selfish widowed yet charming maharani who has a reckless drinking record. The story is about love, death and friendship. I wanted a light reading and this is perfect.
 I love my new hobby- blogging. Don’t know when it might come to an end and I have to start some another one. I am slightly bored without Amrita but I hope she is happy and keeping well. Delhi is not a very warm place and people are even colder. Basically, Indian people usually are not my types. They always live to show off. i find rare exceptional cases at Saharanpur house. 
Long letter and good wishes,
and remember the reply by heart
Hey young lady,

nice to go through your mail and this feeling is a constant one as far as I am concerned . Time, when you should have your own definition of life. As for me it wasnt  much about the achievements but more about how played my cards when I had a very poor hand
this gives a satisfaction and makes you wiser too. I many a times got a much poorer hand than what you have in your hand at the moment Nothing to worry about, you will not have a hand like this for ever. We strongly wanted you  to come and join us so that may do a better planning for the future but as you know we are not usedto use force of any kind  on the young birds that are learning to fly. Communists had a battle formula which they called ‘ONE STEP
BACKWARD and TWO steps FORWARD. Hope you understand that.We  also enjoyed your surprise of getting a book as a gift. He must have assessed you as a good reader 
its very cold here wanted to write a very long mail but my fingers are not supporting me
you are a brave girl indeed but always remember not to work as in reactions but with a positive aim will go through your blog now
lots of love
This was when I gave him one good write up. I will value these lines, made me feel special.
 Proud to be your grand father , grandfather of a person who does not believe in looking back. WELL DONE
I wanted to write more but then dear readers might want to kill me by now. Trust me you all have a reason to feel good about, just be happy and content.
Thanks and regards,
Old Man.

Bookstores Bad Hair Days


If it hadn’t been the case of too much traffic or bad weather or the government closing few metro stations, I would have totally hoped on to my favourite bookstores.  Well, I believe I have many excuses and the day has not ended, so I must go to the nearest one. I sometimes also feel that I may be the privileged one who has a chance to go to a bookstore; my grandchildren might not ever get to visit one, owing to the popular Tablet culture.  It is one of my impossible dreams to open up a bookstore but Dear Tablets and internet downloads gives me a bad feeling.

The thing is when I go to a bookstore; I usually don’t know which book to buy. Sometimes I might know the topic (humour, politics, inspiration, love stories, history etc.) I have no idea and I am very picky and choosy that I end up spending two hours in a store. And this is the best part. Sounds like a mystery to me. One of the storekeepers called me a killjoy because he thought that after spending two hours, I might end up buying ten books but to his disappointment, I had only one book.  My best pick till today has been a PG Wodehouse and Tim Harford’s, “Undercover Economist” and the worst has been Twilight (A very emotionally abusive novel).

I have had some of the best and nostalgic times in the bookstore.  I used to visit this (when I was around ten with mummy) store called the Knowledge Store- a two storied book shop. A paradise for any book lover but twelve years later I see no Knowledge Store at Green Park (New Delhi). I do respect online stores like Flipkart and Amazon sometimes but seriously half your fun is killed, although you do get a book at discounted rates.


source: hookedonbook.com

This is weird but have you ever smelled a book, I have and please don’t be judgmental here. I do smell books till now. Some people donate old books and sometimes in those books, you find a pressed flower or a deep note. In one of the books, I don’t remember which one- A grandparent wrote to his/her grandchild, “Honey this is my last gift to you, hope you enjoy reading the book.” My grandfather jokingly said that when I die, I will leave all my books to your sister and you. Sometimes, I think with stores like Barnes and Nobles closing down in America, wouldn’t India be impacted in coming years?

I see if not every second face but every fifth or sixth face reading a novel on the iPads or notebooks and it leaves me with such an uncomfortable feeling. I tried reading on that miniature screen too (somebody else’s tablet) but I have got glasses and I do care about my eyes. Haha, who would review the book as, “A Page Turner” in coming years? The popular gifting culture will also die….I believe not everyone can afford to gift his child or loved one- a tablet. My sister was lucky enough to convince my father to buy a bookshelf.  No matter how distressed or dull you may feel, a bookstore transports you into another world.

So, looking at the Nargis flower (a very rare flower) pressed by mom in a book, I ponder over the good memories. I think of the second storied attic of Knowledge Store, the heavenly scented perfume and flower adorned Readers Paradise bookstore, the wooden furniture bookstore and the methodically placed books and much more. Still on the optimistic side, Agatha Christie says, “While the light lasts.”