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.