Stories. They are something that have the capacity to capture us within their maze. They could be imaginative as hell or could even have a realistic mind to it. The imaginative scenario’s often end up creating a sensation of stubbornness or urge on listeners to be inclusive on one of those unrealistic portions whereas the realistic stories create a small guilt of not being able to be exist in that very moment.
However both the sides do have a similarity and that is that the one hearing it, isn’t generally a part of it and can never be one no matter how much they cry for it. This feeling of being left out kills some people from inside and sadly I am one of those people.
My story is a bit old as it starts from the time when the entire world didn’t revolve around satellites and wires. It initiates from the time when parents used to read out bedtime stories to their children unlike today where Alexa does that for them. The other thing strange in my story is that I’ve just heard portions of it. Portions that weren’t at all systematic and so incomplete that I’ve have a lot of questions but however all of those remained unanswered because the only one who could answer it wouldn’t be with me.
Despite all of these obstacles, I know the characters of my story. I connect with each one them and specially the initiator. Although he is the one who has been interacting with me since my birth through the picture enclosed by a bunch of smelly flowers in my grandmother’s wall, I can tell when he’s with me. He doesn’t utter a word but his remarkable stories tangles me with him. He is none other than my late grandfather- Mr Sambu Nath pyakurel aka Dada.
March 12-2000. The sun rose up and so did I from my mother’s uterus into my family’s safe arms. The 9 months wait had finally come to an end and my family had lightened the environment with love and laughter. The sets of teeth of my well-wishers were visible from a long distance and that it seemed as if they would paint the entire world with love and happiness.
Many might assume that every family reacts in a similar manner when they have an arrival of a new family member. Mine was a little bit different. They were happy because obviously I was born safe and healthy but more than that they were glad and satisfied because they believed me to be a reflection of my late grandfather.
Compliments. A term that’s so strong and powerful as when provided, it’s able to shower love and happiness in a fraction of seconds. However you need to be lucky to get them. Well I was. Years passed and still I was unknown to the person I was given the title of. The comparison of my behaviours to that of his started taking place. This however structured an interrogative side of mine where I started being intrigue about him. I started raising questions about his acts and I started cherishing every part of it and this is how my realism overcame my childish velveteen rabbit stories.
To every story I’ve heard about my grandfather. Whether it be about he being a strict figure who mostly said no to outings or about him conducting kitchen cooking competitions. Whether it’s about his disciplined behaviour or about his childish acts. I know everything and that I’ve made a note in my head as these stories make me realise him as a person and eventually makes me closer to him. I’ve heard literally everything. From everyday milk powder getting spilt stories to his birthday celebration conditional stories. Literally everything my head could grasp about him. However the last lines of the story tellers ended on a pity note of me not being able to see him.
This often created a silence where everyone remembered him with heavy hearts. Well I couldn’t even remember him so I imagined a story line of his and then all I did was stare at his photo frame and smile. His actions were so repetitive that I even imagined myself being with him but as imaginations have no reality, mine had no future. This feeling of surveillance of not being able to even see him once has remained with me my entire years and hence will continue accordingly.
It’s often said that sometimes you don’t realise what life has given you and you just go through with it. Well the same happened to me. Years passed and slowly his stories led me to his achievements and ambitions. He was a virologist and had completed his PHD from Pasteur University. From having proficiency in speaking different languages including French to working in veterinary projects. He was a perfectionist. People had written research papers about him and that his certificates gave the smell of who he was.
Knowing all of this amused me. It was all so overwhelming, so much in that very moment I let my heart sob it all out. Being called his reflection or his second birth introduced a sense of responsibility in me. I even found people foolish for comparing me with that personality as I knew I didn’t deserve it.
Stories come and go and well this happens to be my childhood yet a realistic story. It includes pictures I wasn’t a part of and it includes times my brains cannot go through of. Well among all of the stories one happens to be highly sentimental and something I would never want to cherish. That’s his cancer story. I’ve heard details but that’s the story I didn’t feel like hearing it again and will never feel like it.
Today where every other individual is fighting against Corona or Covid-19 as we say it, I just keep on thinking, he being a virologist with great experience levels, what would he have done? Maybe he would have brought a change if cancer hadn’t eaten him alive. I end up thinking about dialogues he would have said if I did anything. Whether it be something good or something nasty.
How would he have reacted? All of these phrases get answered by his stories as it however gives me a rare view of his reactions. Yet they are incomplete as his hugs ,kisses are missing and with grief there is no way to get them back .I don’t know if I am in him or he is in me but all I know is that one fine day I definitely want to be like him. You’re my wonderful story and you will always be one dada.