My grandfather’s name is C.K.Prabhakaran Adiyodi. C.K.P Adiyodi. Yes, I have begun the way a second grade kid would begin an essay on the topic, ‘My Grandpa’. Allow me to stick on to that particular cliché, one teeming with innocence. Because I am not going to tell a sophisticated story anyway. I am going to talk about a simple man, who leads a simple life; who once traveled extensively through South India as part of his job; who continues to work on other projects, unable to pause an active mind from pounding on; who receives earfuls of chiding from his wife on a daily basis. And who, makes it his utmost priority to warn others about the slightest danger lurking along the tenth corner from now, while himself, remaininig utterly deaf to any suggestion or cajoling.
Born in the year 1935, Achaachan has, without doubt, witnessed waves of changes lash every wake of life; societal norms, people and their attitudes, places, relationships. I am awestruck when I wonder about the wealth of knowledge and experience he would have gathered in a lifetime in this world. I also, sometimes, wonder if there are any stones he has left unturned. One thing I can say for certain, he has traveled to his heart’s content, and would never say ‘No’ to going someplace, any place. I also know for certain that a piece of his heart still lies in Madras, where he spent the better part of his life. That is why, as recently as last month, I observed his ears sharpen at the mention of Chennai, with some reference to my sister, and wanted to know entire details of the context.
Achaachan loves to talk. And he has plenty of interesting incidents and insights to share with the world. I must admit that, so far, as a restless young adult, I have been an impatient listener to his stories. But recently, I learnt a valuable lesson from Mitch Albom’s ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’; about the importance of paying complete attention to your loved ones as they express themselves. There is no question about love here; I grew up with my grandparents in our ancestral home, they were my primary caregivers. The only thing lacking thus far was the hitherto mentioned capacity for attention to conversations about life and a time I could not relate to. Today, there is love and something more that has grown with time-an ability to prioritize that precious quota of attention on what matters, really.
My job may be poles apart from them, but words remain to date, my most cherished companions. Reading and writing, have always given me a certain quitude. I wanted to write. If possible, on a regular basis. And I wanted to learn and catalog all of Achaachan’s stories. And thus, I settled down to combine the two tasks. And fill this blog, with tales from my Grandfather’s journey in life.
A twenty something feeling her way through life.