They say you should not talk about dead people, especially bad things about them. There have been times when I wanted to write about my Grandfather, but never could.
He was a good man, someone who was known for his dominant nature, temper, love for music and certain other qualities. Now that the good part is said, he had an ugly side too, something which overshadowed his good side. Not a good Father, not a great Husband, not a wonderful Grandfather.
I remember him hitting my Grandmother to the point that she fainted. The reason was too illogical to even disclose. I remember him cursing my Mother. I remember him forcing me to eat spoilt mangoes because he did not like food wasted. I remember being hit by a one inch thick wooden stick for accidently spilling milk and not sharing chocolates with him. I remember him flaunting me as his Grandchild each time I won a competition and I remember him forgetting me when my brother was born. Jealousy? Maybe.
I remember him exchanging words with my Father with a dagger in his hands and I remember him calling me names for the little mistakes I made. I never loved him but neither did I hate. I was taught never to hate anyone.
Once he had a minor heart attack and he called onto my brother’s name semi consciously. The hate started burning in my heart. On his second heart attack, he thought he wouldn’t survive and he called for a personal chit chat with each and every member in the family. When my turn came, he apologised for everything he did and I realised that this man actually knew that what he did to us wasn’t right. I forgot the hate as I hugged him and cried. I forgave him absolutely.
But the man survived and his old self came back in business. My Grandfather was getting really old and believed in spending half of his day on bed. But his tongue never rested and the cursing continued. My hate reached a brand new height. I remember being on bed beside my mother, weeping and cursing him all night long. I wanted him dead. I wanted him to die and leave our lives to ourselves. I wanted him gone forever. My mother did not stop me from cursing. She understood the pain I was going through and she did not try to wipe my tears off. I felt relieved. I prayed for his death.
Entrance exams were on their way and so, I along with my mother and brother went to Kerala. My father was posted somewhere else for his work. May 20th the entrance exams got over and we boarded the train on May 21st back to our place. My Grandfather gave me a call before I left Kerala and told me he wished to see me. I gave a ‘SURE’ and rolled my eyes. I never could be rude to him on his face. As I boarded the train, half of me was rejoicing and the other half was depressed for I was going back to a place with Him in it. I hated him or better still LOATHED him.
Reached the destination and my Father was there to pick us up. We got in the car and absolute silence prevailed. My Dad declared with a crack in his voice that my Grandfather had died yesterday. He did not want to tell us while we were in train. Noone was there except my Grandmother when he died. No children, grandchildren, no well wishers. Just him and his wife. Just the way I cursed. Silence continued in the car. My mother silently wept while my brother sat still looking at the crayons in his hands. My Father did not shed a tear. He was a strong man.
As I sat in the car, I remember blaming myself for killing him. For taking a father away from my Dad, for taking a doting Grandfather away from my brother, for taking a father-in-law away from my Mother, for taking a Husband away from my Grandmother. I remember the warm tear flowing across my cheeks and I remember realising that underneath all that hate, there was a child who craved for his love and a child who loved her Grandfather.
Guilt is what I started living with. He was the reason I sang. He was behind the music classes I joined. He was the person who used to sit on the front seat as I sang. I blamed myself for his death.
Recently did I get over it and I thank a very special person for it. I could never write this down until today. Good things have been happening with me and life has been beautiful. I think he is watching over me and I think he always will. Beneath all that hate, love truly existed.
P.S- If Only i could call this a fiction and save myself from your judging eyes. Sorry for writing this. Had to get it off my chest.