(Please read this with a pinch of salt. After all, everything you hear and see in this World cannot be true)
If you are reading this you are probably a city-bred who has never been to a village. I don`t fault you. Chances are your parents or grand parents fell for the early bird prizes and migrated to the cities.
My grand parents had character, so they stayed on. The only thing my grandpa did not say (as in the wont in Hindi movies) was: “I was born on this soil and I want to die here. I want my body to disintegrate into organic waste, here in my village, and help the corps grow.”
My father, who almost made it to Indian Football team to play alongside Chuni Goswami, excelled in studies too. He was so good that the teachers did not want him in the school and had him rusticated by accusing him of pissing in the water tank meant for the school students. Agreed, that my father was naughty but this was something my father would not have done. He was more into pissing in other water bodies like a water pot, a bucket etc.
Because of that one instance when he could not hold his bladder, my father lost his interest in education. He would then join the Indian Army. This makes me believe in what Tao once said: The amount of urine in the urinary bladder is directly proportional to Patriotism. I myself feel very Indian when my bladder is full. Maybe that`s why I don`t shy away from using the roadsides.
Because of his football skills, my father, made it to the United Nations Peace Keeping Force. Initially, he was stationed in Congo and latter in Bosnia Herzegovina. My father was responsible for kicking the heads torn away from the torsos in bomb blasts, out of the road. He was helping the locals by keeping the traffic smooth.
We would come back to India at regular intervals. And each time we would stay in the village with my grand parents. This was the time; I got to know cows better. I can really talk to them. When I was all of ten years old, I once ordered the cow to give milk and then squeezed its teats…and bingo…the milk came.
From my grand father I learnt work ethics. He was quite a hard worker. Once, my grandpa`s bulls could not come for work due to a hangover (it was World Animals Day and they were partying). Since my father and I were doing nothing, we offered to act like bulls minus the tail. We held the plough on our shoulders and our grandpa tilled the land. Legend has it that the harvest that year was overwhelming. So much so, my grandpa could pay off his credit card bills. (By the way, did you know that the Diners Club card was the first credit card to be introduced)
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I am not too sure…but I think I was twelve years old when this happened. We went visiting Kanyakumari, and a Tsunami hit us right then. We were all stranded on the Vivekananda Rock (which is about 100 meters into the sea) and had to spend two days on the rock. No food, and only salt water to drink.
But my family held on. The lighthouse had vanished under the water, so we even got a chance to save some merchant ships that were running into shallow waters. My grandpa and I would take turns to take my father`s red shirt deep into the sea (we knew swimming) and wave it at the merchant ships. All this while, my father would hold the family (which included my two sisters and mother) together by telling them stories from Amar Chitra Katha.
If you wonder why I am telling you all this now…well, the Tsunami in the Indian ocean brought back old memories. I could have given you my Grandpa`s mobile number so that you could check if all this was right, but he has left!