Make sure you leave a comment so I know you came by to visit.

Jan 14, 2010

MY TEACHER - MY GRANDFATHER


Lori says: I am posting this entry for the Writer's Challenge for a friend. I am so glad he is participating because I always enjoy reading his thoughts on life. I know you will enjoy him too. Amman has a most interesting blog called just a thought. He is a deep thinker and when I read his blog it always gets me thinking. We are posting this here for now because it will be part of a series that is starting in February on his blog. We are getting the sneak preview here.


My Teacher, My Grandfather

My grandfather was the smartest, most well read person I’ve ever known. I had the great privilege to live with him for a little over two years in my pre-teens in India. He died a few years ago but he is now more of an influence on me through death than ever before. I see him in myself now more than ever before. Actually I never really saw him in myself until I stopped neglecting my love for writing about 5 years ago.

He was a college professor, he taught English literature. He would eventually become principal of his college. Literature was his passion, my grandmother was his love. He would read every single day. I would play around him while he sat in the veranda reading and constantly underlining. Only his family and close students knew what a truly loving person he really was. To an outsider he might’ve seemed somewhat stern, rigid and maybe even cold. And truthfully he could be all three at times, actually, most of the time, but we all knew of his soft side that peeked out of its shell at the most unexpected moments. He had an air of importance about him. He would be in a tie and sweater vest by six a.m., even on Sundays when he wouldn’t even leave the house. He was a loner, a solitary man by choice. He preferred the company of books to men. There were very few people outside of family that he would happily sit with. Sometimes he would have visitors, like minded men. They would sit in his library, drink whiskey, laugh and talk. No one dared opened that door to hear what they were laughing and talking about, not that any of us would get it anyway. They would sit and drink and talk in there well past my bed time. He viewed most of mankind to be beneath him. Those around him felt that way too. He bored easy among company (aside from his friends mentioned above). But he always stuck around for the whiskey. He was very well respected by everyone. No one ever questioned him. No one ever raised their voice towards him, except my grandmother, the only one that wasn’t scared of him. The man was barely over five feet tall and still seemed larger than life. He wasn’t intimidating per se but he had an aura of authority. He only spoke if necessary and made sure his point was succinct and clear. He was a mystery to me. I would sneak into his library when he wasn’t home and snoop around every nook and cranny trying to solve this mystery. All I really found were words I was too young to understand. I wanted to be intelligent like him.

As you can imagine, school came first with my grandfather. I never had a problem with that, I was always somewhere in the top three of my class. This was not enough for him. He would make me read text books during the summer so I had a head start when the school year started. He wasn’t Christian but made me read the children’s version of the bible for the life lessons. He sneered at the idiotic Bollywood movies I loved so much and would show me old Charlie Chaplin movies and Laurel and Hardy and old Hindi movies. Even my illiterate grandmother would surprise me with the occasional English or her understanding something I said to my grandfather in English. She obviously learnt from my grandfather. All these things that I hated at that time I would come to appreciate later in life. Seems we all go through something like that with our parents or in this case my grandparents.

I went back to India about five years ago. It would be the last time I saw my grandfather. He was old and seemed a foot shorter. He didn’t talk much and didn’t care if I did but he wanted me in his immediate vicinity as much as possible. He showed me some of his sketches (I think my grandfather would’ve rather been a sketch artist like I a musician). They were good but there was a definite recurring theme, lone cabins in the woods, the solitary wolf, untouched forests… go figure. I now think this might have to do with the love of his life being fatally ill for over twenty years and being completely helpless to do anything about it but watch her wither away. But I didn’t know him before this so I can’t say for sure. When I left a month later I took a little piece of his library with me. I’ve been collecting from it ever since. Whenever a relative goes to India I look forward to the books from his personal library that they bring me back. He literally had thousands of books. (He donated 2000 to his college to give you an idea.) A couple of months before his passing I called him on a whim requesting to hand pick some books for me. I wouldn’t receive them until after his death. The first book I read was the biography of J. Krishnamurti. This book changed my life and much of what I write in my blog is influenced by him, Khalil Gibran and of course, my grandfather.

His library is slowly turning into mine. Fortunately he usually dated when he read them and some date as far back as the early 40s, underlined with his footnotes and all. So as you see, he is still the biggest influence on me even through death. Those books might not contain his personal words but they helped in shaping him and they are now shaping me.

11 comments:

Lori E said...

Oh my gosh I love this. I love that not only did you get to live with this man and get to know his life and love of the written word but you now get to receive the gifts of his books. Better yet you get all his footnotes too. How better to understand him and to know more about him. About his opinions and thoughts. With these things he is giving you a sketch of himself so in the end he did get to be a sketch artist.

mbkatc230 said...

What a wonderful remembrance of your grandfather. He does sound like your most influential teacher, both in life and even after his death. And the wonderful gift of his library! How amazing to read his thoughts as he wrote them in the margins. I really loved reading this. It brought back many memories of my grandfather. A completely different type of man, but just as influential in his own way. Thank you so much for sharing this. Kathy

MiMi said...

That is wonderful. Simply wonderful.

hummer said...

It is an awesome story that kept you entranced all the time you were reading. It is wonderful he was given the gift of spending a length of time with the grandparents to allow for the life time and beyond bonding that now is aiding him to define himself.

Joanne said...

What a treasure - the memories and the books. I look forward to seeing the rest of the series in February.

Gail said...

You are a very fortunate person you have had such a wonderful grandfather. I hear your love in your writing, something you need to continue to do. This was very well written, full of emotion, and, as a reader you had me entranced from the first word to the last. Thank you.

Deb said...

how nice for you to have such a great influence in your life...great teacher story...

peace said...

aaawwww gee - schucks, thanks!

Tammy said...

May you never loose the joy of reading or the memories made because of reading. You were so blessed to have your g'father for so long. Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. Tammy

Michelle said...

It's wonderful that your Grandfather left such a legacy for you. And I'm so happy that you can enjoy him through his books and personal notes. Treasure these times and keep them safe!

Blondie's Journal said...

A wonderful tribute to your grandfather. I so enjoyed reading this. I feel I have learned a bit too (that I don't have to be tall or speak much to be heard!). You are so lucky and blessed to have had a person like this in your life and I think he would have been pleased to know that he has indeed influenced you to write again. And although he didn't part with his books until after his death, he must have been happy to know that you wanted them.

Wonderful post!

xoxo
Jane

Labels

911 (1) ABBY STOKES (1) ACCOMPLISHMENTS (1) ADS (10) AFRICA (1) AGASSIZ (1) AGING (7) ALL ABOUT YOU LISTS (add your list too) (1) ALLERGIES (2) ALVIN (1) ALZHEIMERS (1) ANIMALS (6) ANNIVERSARY (8) ANTIOXIDANTS (1) Antique (1) ANTIQUES (4) APOLOGY (1) APPLIANCES (1) APPRECIATION (1) APPS (2) ARCHITECHTURE (1) ARCHIVES (1) ARIZONA (1) ARTISTIC ENDEAVORS (29) ARTISTS (4) ASPARAGUS (1) ATTA GIRL (16) AUCTIONS (1) AUTISM (1) AUTUMN (2) AWARDS (31) BABIES (1) BABY SHOWERS (2) BABYSITTING (1) BACK PORCH ANTIQUES (1) BACON (1) BAD BEHAVIOR (1) BAD IDEAS (4) BAD LUCK (1) BAKERY (1) BARBECUE (3) BARN HOUSE ANTIQUES (1) BARNYARD BASH (1) BASKETBALL (2) Battle of Princeton (1) BB GUY (8) BEARS (6) BEEF (15) BERRIES (1) BIG FEAST BISTRO (1) BILL OLIVER (1) BILLS (2) Bird (1) BIRDS (3) BIRTHDAY (9) Blog (4) BLOG BUDDIES (4) Blog problems. (2) BLOGGERS (4) BLOGGIE AWARDS (3) BLOGGING (6) BLOGS (55) BLUEBERRIES (1) BODIES (2) BONSAI (1) BOOKS (2) BOXING DAY (2) BRAGFEST (1) BREAKFAST (2) BRITISH COLUMBIA (9) BUCKET LIST (1) BULLYING (1) BURGERS (1) BUTCHART GARDENS (2) CABBAGE ROLLS (1) CABIN (14) CABIN STORIES (24) CALENDAR (1) CALL CENTRES (1) CANADA (5) CANADA DAY (5) CANCER (5) CANDY (1) CANNING (2) CANUCKS (2) CARNIVAL OF GENEALGOY (2) CARS (4) Cat (1) CATS (6) CATTLE (1) CELEBRATIONS (1) CHANGING TIMES (1) CHARITY (3) CHEESE (2) CHEESECAKE (2) CHERNOBYL (1) CHERRY TREES (1) CHICKEN (9) CHILDHOOD (1) CHILDREN (4) CHLORIDE (1) CHOCOLATE (2) CHRISTMAS (26) CINCO DE MAYO (1) CLARK LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHY (2) CLEANING (1) CLOTHING (2) COALMONT (1) COCKTAILS (1) Coffee (2) COFFEE GROUP (22) COINCIDENCE (1) COLDS (2) COLLECTIONS (48) COMMENTS (10) COMMERCIALS (3) COMMETS (1) COMMUNICATION (1) COMMUTE (1) COMPUTER LESSONS (5) COMPUTERS (28) CONCERTS (2) CONTESTS (12) COOKING (52) COPING WITH CHRISTMAS (1) COPYRIGHT (1) CORNUCOPIA (1) COUGHING (1) COUNTRY (1) Crafts (2) CRANBERRY SAUCE (1) CRIME (1) CROSS STITCH (1) CRUELTY (1) CUPCAKES (2) CURRY (1) DANCING (5) DANGEROUS (2) DARVONDA NURSERIES (1) DARWIN AWARDS (1) DAYLIGHT SAVING (1) DAYLILY (3) DEATHS (3) DECORATING (6) Decorative Painting (1) DEER (1) DENNIS HOPPER (1) DESSERTS (5) DIAPER CAKE (4) DIAPER MOTORCYCLE (1) DINNER (5) DISSATISFIED (1) DOCTORS (2) DOCUMENTARY (1) DOGS (16) Dogue Brasileiro (1) DOING WHAT IS RIGHT (1) DOMAINS (1) DR. OZ (1) DREAMS (1) DRINKS (3) DRIVING (3) DRUNKENESS (1) DUNCAN (2) E COLI (1) EARTHQUAKE (1) EASTER (1) ECOLOGY (1) EMAIL (3) EMPANADAS (1) ENDERBY (1) ENOUGH (1) Eric Burdon (1) ETHICS (1) EXHAUSTED (1) F-BOMB FRIDAY (2) FACEBOOK (4) FAERIES (2) FAIRS (1) FALL (7) Family (7) FAMILY BIBLES (1) Family tree (1) FAMILY. (9) FARMER'S MARKET (3) FARMING (1) FATHER'S DAY (1) FAUJA SINGH (1) FAVORITE (1) FEATURED ARTISTS (1) FERRIES (1) FERTILIZER FRIDAY (1) FIREWORKS (1) FIRST NATIONS (1) FISH (4) FLAGS (1) FLORIST (1) FLOWERS (7) FOLLOWERS (1) FOOD LOVE (1) FOOD POISONING (1) FOOD STORAGE (1) FOOD. (8) FOODIE FRIDAY (34) FOREST FIRES (1) Fourth of July (1) FRIENDS (22) FRIGIDAIRE (1) FRUIT (8) FRUSTRATION (2) FUN (4) FUNDRAISER (7) FUNKY JUNK (1) FURNITURE (1) GADGETS (3) GARAGE SALES (2) GARDEN (7) GARDENS (28) GARLIC (1) GARLIC BREAD (1) GENEALOGY (39) GEORGE CLOONEY (1) George Washington (1) GIFTS. (7) GIFTSTORES (1) GIFTWRAP (2) GIVEAWAYS (17) GLAMOUR (3) GOING WITH THE FLOW (1) GOOGLE (1) GOOGLE READER (1) GREAT GATSBY (1) GREEN MEN (1) GREEN TEA (1) GUACAMOLE (1) GUEST WRITER (4) GUITARS (2) GUNS (1) HACKERS (1) HAIKU (2) HAIR (3) HAIR JEWELRY (1) Halibut (2) HALLELUJAH (1) HALLOWEEN (2) HAM RADIO (1) HANGOVERS (1) HAPPY (2) HAPPY 101 (1) HARRIS' STEAKHOUSE (1) HATERS (1) HEALTH (19) HERBS (1) HIGHWAYS (1) HINTS (2) HISTORY (6) HOCKEY (4) HOLIDAYS (3) HOLLYWOOD (1) HOME AND GARDEN (36) HOME BUYING (1) HOME. (6) HORSES (3) HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGES (1) HOUSEHOLD TIPS (3) http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifOUTDOOR WEDNESDAY (1) HUDSON RIVER SLOOP (1) Hummingbird (2) Humor (25) HUMOR. (74) HUMOUR (87) I SAY HMMMM (1) ICE FISHING (1) INSECTS (2) INSPIRATION (3) INTEREST (1) INTERNET (3) INVENTIONS (2) IPHONES (1) IRONY (1) ISSUES (2) ITALY (2) JAM (2) JANUARY (1) JAPAN (1) JAZMIN (1) JEWELRY (1) JOHNNY DEPP (1) JOKES (1) JOSH JENKINS (2) JOURNEY (1) KARL MALONE (1) KATZIE BAND (1) KEEPING IN TOUCH (1) KIDS (5) KINDNESS (1) KOBO READER (1) KREATIVE BLOGGER (1) LAKE SUPERIOR (1) Langley (1) LASAGNE (1) LAUNDRY (1) LAW (2) LAWYERS (1) LEMIRE (1) LEPP FARM (1) Library and Archives Canada (1) LIFE (82) LIMBERT FARMS (1) LINDA GUMMER (1) LOTTERY (2) LOUIS HEBERT (3) LOVELY BLOG AWARD (1) LUNCH (4) MAGAZINE (3) MANSIONS (1) MANTLE (1) MARIE ROLLET (1) MARIJUANA (1) MARKET (2) MARKETING (1) MARRIAGE (2) MASSAGE (1) MATH (1) MATTHEW WATT (1) MAXINE (7) ME EITHER (18) MEDICINE (2) MELLOW YELLOW MONDAYS (4) MEMES (180) MEMORIES (5) MEN (5) MENTAL ILLNESS (1) Mesothelioma (1) METABOLISM (1) METAMORPHOSIS MONDAY (15) Metis (1) METIS. VETERANS (1) MEXICO (1) MICE (1) MIGRAINES (1) MILITARY (1) MOANS (1) MOLES (1) MOM (2) MONEY (1) MONIQUE LUM (1) MONSANTO (1) MOOSE (1) MOSAIC MONDAY (23) MOSAICS (2) Mothers (1) MOTHERS LINE (5) MOTIFAKE (1) MOTORCYCLES (1) MOURNING JEWELRY (1) MOVIES (3) MOVING (7) MOZEY-ON-INN (1) MR. ROGERS (1) Music (4) MUSIC. (3) MY GUITAR PAL (1) MYSTERY PERSON (1) NAMES (1) NATURE (8) NESTING (1) New France (1) NEW YEARS (1) NEW YEAS EVE (6) NEWPAPERS (1) NEWS (4) NICK BRANDT (1) NIGHT SKY (1) NOTE TO SELF (3) OCEANS (1) OLD PHOTOS (1) OLYMPICS (3) ORANGES (1) ORGANIZATION (1) OSTEOPOROSIS (1) OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY (32) p (1) PACKAGING (1) PAJAMAS (1) PARADES (1) Parenting (3) PARTY (2) Pets (1) PHOTOGRAPHS (10) PHOTOGRAPHY (9) PILOTS (2) PINK PUMPKINS (1) PINTEREST (1) PIZZA (3) PLAGIARISM (1) PLASTIC SURGERY (1) PLAYING FOR CHANGE (1) POACHING (1) POEM (1) POISON (1) POLICE (2) POLLS (1) POND (1) POPPIES (1) PORK (10) PORTLAND (3) POSTCARDS (1) PPS FILE (21) PRIDE (1) PRIME RIB (1) PRIVACY (1) PROBLEMS (2) PRODUCT REVIEW (1) PRODUCTS (1) PROTEST (1) PULLED PORK (1) PUMPKIN (1) PUMPKINS (5) QUARANTINE (1) Quebec (2) RACCOONS (1) RAIN (1) RANDOM (77) RANT (9) RCMP (2) READING (1) REAL ESTATE (1) RECALL (1) RECIPES (24) RECOMMENDATIONS (2) RELAXING (1) REMEDIES (1) REMEMBRANCE DAY (2) REMINDERS (1) REPEAT POST (7) REPORTING (1) REPOST (3) RESEARCH (1) RESOLUTIONS (1) RESTAURANTS (7) RIBS (1) RICE (1) ROAD TRIP (8) RoadTrip (1) ROCK AND ROLL (2) ROCKAWAY REST HOME (1) ROCKS (1) ROMANIAN (1) ROOSTERS (3) ROSA'S CUCINA (1) ROSES (1) ROYALTY (1) SAD (2) SAFETY (1) SAISON (1) SALAD (4) SALSA (2) SAN FRANCISCO (4) SANTA (61) SAUCES (1) SAUSAGES (1) SAVINGS (1) SCAMS (2) SCHOOL (2) SCIENCE (3) SCRAPBOOKING (3) SEAFOOD (1) SEARS (1) SEASONS (1) SERENDIPITY (3) SHAME (1) Shopping (10) Sidney British Columbia (1) SILLY SUNDAY (2) SINGING (1) SISTERS (5) SIXTIES (1) SKY (1) SKYTRAIN (1) SLEEP (5) SLEEPOVER (1) SMALL TALK SIX (3) SMOKED MEAT (1) SNORING (1) SNOW (3) SNOWMOBILES (2) SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (2) SOCIAL MEDIA (4) SOUPS (4) SPAM (3) SPINAL CORD INJURY (1) SPORTS (3) SPRING (5) SPRINKLERS (1) STAINED GLASS (2) START UP (1) STATS (2) STEALING (1) STORIES OF MY ANCESTORS (2) STORMS (2) STOVE (1) STRESS (1) STUFFING (2) STUPID PEOPLE (2) SUBSCRIPTIONS (2) SUCCESS (1) SUFFRAGIST (1) SUMMER (4) SUMMER SUNDAYS (1) SUNDAY FAVORITES (41) SUNSET (1) SUNSHINE AWARD (1) SUPERIOR SCRIBBLER (1) SUPERSTITIONS (1) SURPRISES (1) SUSHI (1) SWANS (1) Swartz Bay British Columbia (1) TABLESCAPE THURSDAY (9) TAG (2) TAILGATING (1) TANDOORI (1) TARA JEAN POPOWICH (2) TATTOOS (1) TEACHERS (3) TECHNOLOGY (2) TEENS (1) TEETHING (1) TEMPLATES (1) THANKS (1) THANKSGIVING (5) THE CAMINO (1) THE VOICE (1) THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GIGGLE THURSDAY (1) THINKING ABOUT YOU (1) Thomas Cadwalader (1) THREE OR MORE TUESDAY (3) THREE OR MORE TUESDAYS (23) TOLE PAINTING (15) TOMATO SAUCE BASE (1) TOTEMS (2) TRAGEDY (1) TRANSIT (1) TRAVEL (9) TREAT YOURSELF THURSDAY (5) TULIPS (1) TURKEY (2) TV (1) TWITTER (1) USA (2) VACATION (4) VALENTINE'S DAY (2) VANCOUVER (3) Vancouver Island (8) VEGETABLES (11) VIDEO (3) VINTAGE (7) VIRUSES (4) w (1) WALL WEDNESDAYS (2) WAR (1) WATERCOLOR (1) WATERY WEDNESDAY (4) WEATHER (6) WEDDINGS (3) WEDNESDAY WORDS (3) WEEDS (1) WEEKENDS (1) WELLNESS (1) Whale watching (1) WHALES (1) Wii ADD ONS (1) WILDLIFE (3) WINE (15) WINNER (1) WINTER (4) WISDOM (1) WOMEN (7) WOOLWORTH (1) WORK (13) WORLD (1) WORLD TRADE CENTER (1) WREATH (1) WRITER'S CHALLENGE (19) YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND PHOTOGRAPHY (1)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...