Dear Nana ji
I hope people up there take a good care of you. You must have made a plenty of friends for here I had seen a lot of people who loved and respected you. I was shocked to see the swarm of people that flocked in your home during your shraadh. I did not spend much time with you but that little time was enough to understand that as a headmaster of the village middle school you had earned respect which was greater in value than any other riches. I used to be amazed to see how at every short distance on road, people stopped by you to touch your feet. For them their Master saab was an epitome of knowledge.
You were soft spoken and gentle and could talk to anyone. Once, I remember, you started to chatter with the gatekeeper of our campus in Bokaro. And then you drew out connections with his father and forefathers. I imagine how a man Miles away from his land, weaves connections with a stranger and that too with such a confidence. That had really impressed me.
Mummy says that you were a great father… even more caring than a mother but not a valiant blood. You were easily afraid of adversities and which you had seen enough for a lifetime. She tells me your story, all about your misfortune. Your mother passed away when you were an infant and soon your father also died. Despite all this, you fought the circumstances and studied hard to become somebody out of nobody.
I don’t know what you thought about me but definitely, you loved me, it showed through your eyes and your words. All the way together I never shared my views regarding you. Today, I would do. I never believed in someone like a role model but I am sure you must be the one for a many. However, one great thing about you I wish I inherit and follow for life is to be courageous enough to accept one’s own weaknesses. You had come to Bokaro to our place and were teaching me a lesson in Geography. I was stuck with a word ‘meadow’ of which you told me the meaning then. During that teaching session you shared a story from your childhood days. You told that those were the days when the peace and harmony around was engulfed by the war, the Second World War. You were a young school boy. The British Government needed young men and boys to fulfill great duties in the war and related jobs. All of your friends enthusiastically took part but you stayed behind. You were afraid of going out thinking of some danger. Staying back is an act of cowards. And you accepted that before your grandchildren who were perhaps, the last link of memories you left behind. Now, when I think of your story I feel glad to see the courage a man has in himself to admit his fear and weakness. I am proud of you. I wish when I grow old I stay as courageous as you to accept and move on.