This is my diary entry dated 05/02/2012. I wrote it in train on my way from Jaipur to Baroda. On reading it again I thought I should share it with the rest of family. There is no structure to this writing, I wrote as things came to mind and I’m not editing the entry (except for adding the pictures). There are so many things that I got to know only after reading his diaries, here’s sharing them with you.
Today was Bauji’s tervi (havan after 13 days of death). I reached Jaipur late last night from Jodhpur. Everyone was there, all the sons, daughters, son in laws, daughter in laws and the grandchildren. One amazing thing about Sanaganer home is that no matter how many people come, there always space for everyone to sleep. 🙂
Last night till around 2am me and menu bua were reading bauji’s diaries. In his 2006 diary when amma was not well, bauji has poured all his emotions. We all knew he was tensed at that time and obviously worried about amma, but that he was afraid, that he was questioning the purpose of life? The diary showed a completely different side of Bauji to me. Bauji kept a regular diaty of every expense (as low as Rs 2), who came to visit, what is happening in the house, amma’s entire treatment – doctors, diagnosis, medicine details everything. But most surprising to me were the gazals he had written. Meenu bua said that she knew Bauji did amazing shayari, but I’m sure none of the grandchildren ever got a whiff of that. As kids we knew him as a strict grandparent who was always after our studies! (at least for the ones who grew up in Sanganer). Amma was the softer one and I think they both purposely maintained this “Good cop, bad cop” routine 🙂
Here’s a scanned copy of one of his writing’s
Ravi panditji came for the havan. Ravi panditji (earlier his father) have been coming to our home for every pooja/havan that I remember. His father and him have conducted every wedding in our family in Jaipur. I cried for Bauji for the first time today (after his death). During the aarti at the end of havan, I remembered how amma-bauji used to insist that we join for evening prayers, even at the time when there was no temple in Sanaganer and amma had her idols in a small room. How they both used to read excerpts from Geeta and Kalyan (a periodical on religious teachings) and explain the meaning.
As kids we often found these pravachans boring but used to sit through them, just to keep amma-bauji happy but never paid any attention. It was always in from one ear and out from another J. However, I think its because of those sessions that today I know anything about faith. That today I believe there is a god. While a follower of Hinduism, Bauji believed that all gods are one. In one of diary entries (circa 1998) he has written that he went to chaura rasta bazaar (the book market in Jaipur) to find a book on common teachings of all religions but couldn’t find any. More recently (circa 2011) he wrote “God is one”.
I feel I’m lucky I grew up with grandparents. I remember the sweet smell when amma made laddus or halva. I remember how she used to make the gadmad sabzi (a dish prepared 2 days before Diwali and has more than 50 vegetables). That day we will have around 30-40 people for lunch at Sanganer and the dish was packed and sent to relatives. The year before she died, she had asked chacha to make the dish and she was supervising. (Did she knew she won’t be there the next year? Was she ensuring the tradition continued?).
Amma-Bauji used to play rummy for 50p a point. Amma taught me how to play rummy but I never managed to earn much from them :). Cards is also a tradition in Sanganer. Whenever all the brothers and sisters are together, they have to play cards!
Theirs was a love story set in 1940s (Imagine!). Ravi chacha told this story when we were visiting him in Ahmedabad . Bauji used to take tuitions for amma’s brothers and in return amma’s mother asked him to eat in their home and so started their association :).
As I was growing up, the amount of time I spent with amma-bauji somehow became inversely proportional with age. Growing up, school, friends and tv became more entertaining than spending time with them. I remember after coming back from school, we used to rush to our room on the first floor. Amma used to call us (shouting hard so that her voice would reach our rooms) to come down and we would keep saying after lunch, after homework, 10 mins, 15 mins L.
I wish I knew then, what I’ missing now. I always took grandparents for granted. Where are they going? They would always be there telling their stories, I can always sit with them tomorrow. It was only today that it finally hit me that the tomorrow will never come. For me, one entire generation is gone. When I read bauji’s diaries, the fact that he wrote down who all came to visit and where did the grandchildren go for studies/ after marriage, I realised that all he wanted was for us to spend time with them.
The fact that amma-bauji, nana-nani are no longer there brings home the realization that mummy-papa are also growing older every day. As we get busy in our careers, in raising our families, we pay little attention to our time with them. I don’t want to have any more regrets.