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My Grandchildren: my best friends...

When we become parents, we love our children. It's a natural process. But when we become Grandparents, we truly realise the meaning of love.

Grandchildren are nature’s biggest gift. They bring rainbows, sunshine and a whiff of fresh air in your old age. They say genes skip a generation. Maybe that’s why grandparents find their grandchildren so lovable, much more than even their own children.

I am blessed with three grandchildren, and one look at them and my heart says: You are the child of my child, and your life is a joy to me. I am grateful to have you in my life. As I watch through the generations, I am reminded that the bonds we form are as everlasting as the spirit.

God has always been kind to me and my wife. The Almighty has blessed us with a granddaughter and two grandsons. Our granddaughter, Shruti is a young adult now, studying in Canada, pursuing her doctorate in Neurosciences. We call her Shrutu with love. Being the first grandchild, she is special to my heart. Everytime I think of her, I remember this adorable little girl with dimples and a laughter, which touches our hearts. Thank you, God, for blessing us with a granddaughter.

Shruti, nanu’s darling child:

I believe that God made granddaughters to give our lives variety, and to keep our hearts young.

“God draped each morning with sunshine,

and sprinkled each night with songs,

He hollowed out spaces for laughter,

and created joys to last long after:

then reserved a special place for tenderness when God made granddaughters.”

Shruti has been a brilliant student throughout her educational career. She did her schooling from Delhi Public school, Dwarka where she was the Joint head girl of the school. She did her graduation in Pharmacy from Delhi University and went on to Oxford University, United Kingdom for her masters. I can go on about her conquests, but I would just like to say that she makes us proud – today and always.

As a child, shruti loved to listen to stories I would tell her. She would get into splits of free laughter while we gossiped about various things, and we made a great team.

I often remember how Shruti and I used to play 'Hotel-Hotel' when she was a child. She would prepare dishes and I would be a customer. We would engage in a banter about the rate of dishes and the taste. The process would go on for hours. We both took our jobs very seriously. It is one of my most lovable memories.

When my second dog naughty was almost dying, Shruti and I took care of him together. She was my companion during this hard time. The bonds we formed during this time are priceless.

We discussed books, philosophy, religion, politics, occult and everything under the sun. It is and has always been a beautiful relationship.

For my wife and me, Shruti has always represented goodness in this world. She has this beautiful ability to connect to the unknown, create a safe space for people to open up and share and offer friendship for life. A rare combination of abilities, to my wizened eyes.

Rishabh and Rohan, our Grandsons:

God has also blessed us with two grandsons who are our little angels without wings.

Rishabh is the elder one, 13 years old now and a very enterprising teenager. He is already a black belt in karate and an accomplished state-level piano player. Would you believe if I tell you that Rishabh has his own you tube channel and a website since he was 12 years old. He and his group of friends run this website talking about food and culinary experiences. They also sell merchandise and earn money. Currently, they are running a fund raiser to get introduced to the Guinness Book of World Records. He is unlike any thirteen-year-old I have ever seen or met.

Besides being a brilliant entrepreneur at 13 years, Rishabh is also a grounded child, who has immense love for his family. His ability to speak with you from miles away and make you feel as if you were hugging him is priceless. He loves building things and people alike: projects, friendships, communities.

Our younger grandchild Rohan is seven years old. One look at him, and you see why God sends angels on this earth to protect us. A smile that can melt the hardest of hearts, Rohan is a deep thinker. At this young age of seven, he already talks about the good and the bad him.

While kids his age pursue television and mobile phones , Rohan prefers to read and write. A young budding pianist, Rohan is pursuing martial arts and is totally in love with his elder brother.

There is one incident I would like to narrate here. Once my son asked Rohan, ‘what would you like to become when you grow up’? His simple answer was, Papa, I want to become a common man. We also need common people in this world.

Rohan often describes himself as two personalities: Angry Rohan and Happy Rohan. Whenever he feels distressed or angry, he goes to his room, talks to himself and after he feels pacified, comes out and announces that Rohan is now happy. Having such maturity at this young age is beyond my ability to comprehend.

On my seventy-fifth birthday, Rohan wrote a heart touching letter to me. It is now framed and sits on the top of my bed. This love is priceless.

When I am in the company of my grandsons, I am reminded of this beautiful quote:

God made grandsons…

God blended a pinch of mischief with two parts of love and joy;

He added a special sparkle to each special boy.

God made grandsons to keep us energetic, and always on our toes.

To bless our lives with laughter and hold our memories close.

To lighten our days and brighten our ways.

Although brought up in the US, both my grandchildren give us uncountable love. Similarly Shruti, my grand daughter has been abroad for almost four years now. Yet, distance only makes the heart grow fonder. Distance will never decrease our love for our grandkids. Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation

Even with all the luxuries in the world at their disposal, Rishabh and Rohan prefer to sleep in the same bed with their grandmother whenever they visit India.

Grandkids proved the maxim right that uncles and aunts, and cousins, are all very well, and fathers and mothers are not to be despised; but a grandmother, at holiday time, is worth them all.

The moment grandparents enter the room, all restrictions fly out of window. And none of the things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap.

Bhagwat Gita is my gospel to life and I always love to read one chapter from the holy book before I go to sleep. My son is aware of my habit. On our first day at the cottage in Talai (Fagu near Shimla), he quietly came to my room and presented me with audio Gita. He said, now papa, just listen to Gita every night instead of reading. I was touched. I gave him a hug and kiss and thanked him.

My younger grandson, Rohan observed that I was still reading Gita and not listening to it. He told Rishabh, bhai, looks like, grandpa has not liked papa’s present. He is not listening to it. I called both of them and said, kids, grandpa loved the present. Only thing is your Nani is sleeping in next room and sound will disturb her. Rishabh was quick with his response: ‘Why didn’t you tell me before grandpa? I have two headphones. You keep one. Without any hesitation, he gave me the headphone and I thanked him. Every night, both brothers would come and made sure that my bed was properly made.

Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends — and hardly ever our own grown children. There’s nothing like a grandchild to put a smile on your face, a lump in your throat and a warm feeling in your heart.

Many times during our travels, both the little kids have opted to sit through the whole journey with us in our little car. During one such travel from the hills, Rohan decided to shift into the other car, where his mom was calling him. Now look at the presence of mind of the elder brother Rishabh. The 9-year-old Rishabh tells the 4-year-old Rohan (and I and my wife are just observing), “We are with grandpa and grandma just for another two days. We will be with mama and papa after that for all the time.” Rohan listened, understood and opted to travel back with us.

I was overwhelmed with tears swelling in my eyes feeling the love of these two small angels.

Child of my child, heart of my heart,

Your smile bridges the years between us,

I am young again, discovering the world through your eyes,

You have the time to listen, and I have the time to spend

Delighted to gaze at familiar, loved features made new in you again,

Through you, I see the future. Through me, you’ll see the past.

In the present, we’ll love one another as long as these moments last.

The promise of tomorrow And the hope of dreams come true

A reminder of the childhood That’s still a part of you,

The wonder of a miracle from which this love began….

I have been a part of Operation Blue Star. There was much bloodshed in the golden temple, and I have also shared the story with my three grandchildren besides writing about it on this blog.

Some months ago, operation blue star was discussed in Rishabh’s class in the US. Rishabh was very proud to inform his whole class and the teacher that his grandpa covered the entire operation as a journalist representing All India Radio.

His entire class and teacher clapped in appreciation and said, you must be proud of such a grandpa.

Shruti and Rishabh read my stories on this blog regularly. My granddaughter and my two grandsons are like a rainbow and whiff of fresh air. We always pray for them and bless them.

They are also proud of the fact that their grandfather was an officer in the army. Rishabh, even as a child was always very curious. His favourite conversation started with , so grandpa, you were in army. What weapons you were handling? I told him all about my army life and he heard mesmerized. I told him that I was an officer and a gunner, trained to handle guns of various caliber’s, including weapons such as pistols, stenguns, rifles and machine guns.

As a child, Rishabh would have his meals only if I told him a story. He always had many questions. Stories he liked the most were about his father, Ankur as a child. He loved them and laughed in delight. Believe me it is bliss to have grandchildren.

While Rishabh has a BMW, a Toyota and a Tesla at home, he always says, grand pa, you have the best car in the world. This best car was a humble i-10 by Hyundai. His comments, made so naturally,

Really, blessed are those who have grandchildren.

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