If you could bring back someone from the other side of the rainbow bridge for just one day, would you do that?
I thought long at this question. Would I? I am not an overtly emotional person. The practical tag suits me more than emotional but I guess I would bring someone back from the other side of the rainbow bridge. Yes, I may. Not to get nostalgic but to make up for the lost time. For the time we had together but could not make the best of because I was not what I am today. Back then I was still a little girl gaping at the world. I did not have my social, political or theological opinions. I was still imbibing the opinions of others around me and believing them to be mine. And my grandfather was already the man his daughters adored and the entire village respected.
Today, when I have my own take on things – on the country, politics, books, movies, religion – I wish I would get one day with him to know his take, his opinions, his reasons.
He was the original atheist in the family, the real yuktivaadi (rationalist). We grand children are but a diminished shadow. He was the one who got roads and buses on those roads to his village, supported the local library, funded the local panchayat school, gave away his own land to build a colony of homeless. He even got the temple pond cleaned. Yes, despite being an atheist. That is why I call him the real atheist in the family. He was clear in his thoughts. He did not believe in the idols but the pond wasn’t used by the idols, it was used by the people in his village and he got it cleaned. And that it was the temple pond did not deter him. He went to the local temple and even *Sabarimala to have the temple ** Payaasam. Never bowed before the idols but had never been intolerant towards the ones who bowed.
I vaguely remember people of all religions and strata visiting his home. My childhood, summer home. They all did visit with heavy hearts, tear-filled eyes and wreath bearing hands when he lay there ready to mount the pyre, too. In the India of today; the India with changing winds gushing into its lungs now, with the secular fabric of the country being pulled to an unsettling extent, the India which is the world’s largest democracy but an Indian with an opinion is scared to voice it now – I would have loved to sit down with him and know what he thinks of it all. When marxism was at its heated heights in Kerala, he was the one who hid many political leaders in his own house, he himself had to undergo anonymous exile despite never being a member of any political party. I am sure his take on the India of today is what I am missing the most. No amount of reading opinion columns would give me the perspective, that an old hand who had got dirty when the establishment went on the wrong path, would give.
It is his 13th death anniversary on 14th August and there is no better time that I could have written this. I wish he would have lived longer so we could have had all the discussions that I do want to have with him. This will definitely be the plan for the day he crosses over to this side of the rainbow bridge. And maybe a couple of special dishes from my kitchen too, he would be hungry for human food after all. I told you I am practical 🙂
*Sabarimala is a Hindu pilgrimage centre located in Kerala. The shrine at Sabarimala is an ancient temple of Ayyappan.
** Payasam is sweet rice pudding