My Role Model

It is the era of nuclear families. The concept of joint family is fast disintegrating in India. I fear that the present generation may not know what is called ‘Joint Family’. Most of them treat their grand father either as a guest or an outsider. I am one among the privileged who have been born and brought up in joint family system and had an opportunity to interact with my grand father.

My grand father was living in a small house just opposite our home, which we fondly call it as ‘Thatha Veedu” (Grand Father’s house). From my parents I came to understand that he took a decision to move to this small house which lacked even basic amenities like electricity for the comfort of my parents. What a biggest sacrifice! He had not changed his decision till his death is really amazing.

I never remember my Grand Father ever sitting idle. While we return from school we used to see him standing on the road removing the obstacles on the road like broken stones and thorny bushes to prevent others getting hurt by these objects.

He was known for his discipline. Since he was in a village and had no 9 to 5 job, he could afford to relax and do things at his own pace. But he used to do his works with clock work precision and always took his meal in time whether it is break fast, lunch or dinner.

I am not aware whether he got any formal education, but he was a voracious reader. The habit refused to die even after he lost his eye sight due to his old age. Every morning he used to call us for reading the news paper for him. After hearing the news he expressed his opinion firmly and often raised questions about few illogical actions of our politicians.

The keen interest he had shown on us always moved us very close to him. He always interested to know how we are faring in the school examination and when the result will be out. He closely watch us when we play and very often warn us for getting injured.

While doing our home work, if the tip of our pencil breaks, we immediately rush to him for getting the pencil sharpened. The artistic way he sharp the pencil with a big knife was really a delight to watch. We always get inspired of his patience and interest shown whatever he did.

One morning when he passed away, we were shattered as this was the first time we experienced that some one who was so close to us dying. Though more than thirty years have passed since his death, he still lives in our memory and I am sure he will continue to live with us for ever.

One of the biggest advantages of joint family system is that you need not look for your role model out side your home. Yes, my greatest role model is my grand father.

31 thoughts on “My Role Model

  1. Good article. Slowly the joint family system is going away in India. Its a pity. I remember my grandfather who drew all the pictures for our science projects…..

  2. This is such a beautiful tribute to your hero, your grandfather. I am an American, and did not grow up with a joint family experience. My mother is from California. My father from New York. I was born in San Francisco, and then my family moved to Houston, TX when I was 2 years old.

    I never had much of a relationship with any of my extended family. Yet, as I age I have found my heart yearns for them. I have had the opportunity to do a lot of research to discover my ancestors and my genealogy. Even though I didn’t know them much when they were alive, through research I have come to know some of these family members after they have passed on.

    Truly, your experience should be treasured. I wish we had more respect and devotion to our extended families here in the U.S.

    1. My heart yearns for my grandmother, although I knew her and we wrote letters to each other until I was in my mid-40s–she lived to be 97. My book about her WWII years will be published late next month. I also want to do one about her Depression Era years, and one about her early years. Iowa, USA. The book is Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II. Leora was my grandmother. I still miss her.

  3. I understand your longing for the joint family system. Yeah one should be lucky to live in a joint family. I am really blessed in this respect. It is sad that the joint family system is disintegrating all over the world. In India also it exists only in rural areas. It is a great loss to the humanity. Thank you Chococantania for your thoughtful and very nice comments. Keep following my blog.

  4. It is a beautiful thing to have family so close by. And I appreciate your love for your grandfather, as I similarly loved my grandfather.
    Grandparents and grandchildren have a special love relationship that’s like no other human relationship. I believe that it’s the best love among people to people.

  5. Your grandfather sounds like a delight. My grandmother lived in our home while I was growing up and my mother lives with our family. This is rare in the U.S., too, but is a blessing in so many ways. 🙂

  6. A great tribute to your grandfather. He taught you well through his own actions. They say kids learn more, in this case hard work ethic and more, by observing the immediate people surrounding them. A nice inspirational story.

  7. Thank you so much for this. I’m a grandmother and until my daughter’s divorce, I lived close to my grandchildren. I wish I could see them more often but thank goodness for FaceTime.

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