Little things; little things always add up together to form great memories. These little things have a power beyond measure. They can do unimaginable things to a person. They can warm our hearts like a mother’s broth in cold winter; open the floodgates of tears as efficiently as the most heart-wrenching movies and they can make us laugh; laugh until we cry.
These little things never fail to bring a smile on my face when I think of my grandfather. My grandfather was as human as a human could ever be. I would never call him faultless. On the contrary, he was so many things people around him despised him for. Yet when we think about him, we only remember the little things that seem to define him.
My grandfather Narasimhan, was a jovial person; at least that is how I remember him. In my mother’s stories of her childhood, he appears to be a very strict father who never spared the rod. But I know from all the little things that my little head had once collected, that he was indeed a great grandpa. Every time I would visit my native place, he would personally pluck mangoes from our tree to give to me. He would sing so many Tamil songs that seemed ancient and somewhat like gibberish to a ten year old me.
His comical dance moves coupled with songs sung from a toothless mouth were both hilarious and fascinating. His love for everything ‘cricket’ used to soar at an insurmountable height. He knew by heart, every cricketer’s name, his strike rate and his score in every match. His life revolved around cricket and no one who visited my native would expect in the least that he would change the channel.
But Time, it seems, runs at a speed faster than lightening. For when I think back to those days, I feel like I hardly got to spend any time with him. Like the pages of a story book, our time together kept moving towards ‘the end’. He got weaker; became more and more shriveled. The last little thing that I remember, is his cold motionless self, shrunk to a great extent on the blinding white sheets in the hospital. If Time could ever stop, it briefly did for me then. Was it mocking me, or paying its respects? I wouldn’t know.
A strict father, a great cook, a crazy person and a wonderful grandfather. If everyone who remembers him, thinks of him in such ways, it’s because of those little things.
In life, our present may seem overwhelming, confusing and aimless. We may have nothing great to add to our name. Just little moments that seem to fill our time. But if I have learned anything from my grandpa, it’s that, in the future, it is the ‘little things’, happy or sad, that make the greatest stories.
“Life is a beautiful collage of priceless moments and memories, which when pieced together creates a unique treasured masterpiece.”
-Melanie M. Koulouris