Saturday, January 28, 2012 | By: CHIMI DORJI

Never learn to become old

By mid 80s of his age my grandpa must have been agonized and frustrated of living in old age. He could have thought to do many things if ever his body was as young as his heart. But he knew it the realities and agony of living in  old age and his body cannot function as he thinks like once upon a time when his body was as young as his heart. For the fact that mind never grows old whilst body grows older day by day which becomes less functional and workable for every needy purpose, he would very often say “learn everything in life but never learn to become an old man”. “We don’t have to learn to become old but it’s a destiny for all that automatically one day or other we all are destined to become old, the only difference is just a matter of time”, as I either help him to stand up properly or accompany him for his late night natural calls and respond him the old man whizzing his few left tattered teeth would broke into chuckles.
He was 86 when he had his last breathe on this beautiful world on 26 December last year. He was an old man but despite being aged he had been far more active, dedicated and committed in whatever he did than many of us, we the grandchildren. No matter how many times we compel him to stay free at home he would not dare to listen. By dawn he would have already gone for firewood and by the time some of us still struggling to wake up he would have already reached one load of fire wood. While freed from collecting firewood he would be seen basking the sun outside busily engaged either waving the handicrafts or doing other things. He would not be seen free most of time. So hard working grandpa he was who has been always inspiration and motivation for all these years of my life.
Ever since he was born in 1925 he had spent almost half of his life herding cows in the jungles alone most of time. For all days of my childhood it had been always fun and pleasure to accompany him through the jungles helping him herding the cows. Even on weekends and vacations I would not stay home I would be always gone for helping him.
Under the sweltering heat or under the cool shed sitting by his side and listening the folktales and narration of various incidents and hardships he had gone through in late 1950s and 1960s while contributing compulsory labour to the government and while travelling to and fro Samdrup Jongkhar and other places for transacting business and other purposes, it had been really entertaining and interesting too, as much as today watching movie in one of the best theaters here. Not only entertainment alone, in all days of my childhood he had been guiding, directing, and putting me on the right path and teaching me all qualities and skills that every villager’s son posses.
One of urges that drives me to rush back home every vacation has been to meet him. Nothing back home had been as interesting as sitting by old man and chatting nonstop. Alas! No more now. This time when I departed for college I knew it I would not see him on my next vacation and forever for he had been bed ridden for about two weeks who was almost in last breathe. I was right then he passed away towards mid night on the same day I left for college.
I would not see his smile while I go home and sad face while I depart from home for college. I would not see him coming to see me off with few hundred notes and wishing me a safe journey back to college. I owe you so much but the fate acted so cruel at this time just on the eve of my graduation. Now name alone stands tall. I will not see you at home henceforth but will be in my heart always and forever. You were a great and special grandpa of all times. It was really a great lost to our family and will remember you always. May your soul rest in eternal peace! OM MANEI PEMAE HUNG THRE..
.Death, who escapes actually? All are destined to die…So! no matter what, life goes on and it must go on…….

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