I remember a very vivid picture of him lying on the metallic bench covered with white cloth upto the neck,chicken pox marks on his face which were almost receding, maybe due to lack of life and heat in the body,not conducive for the virus to thrive.He was about to be pushed into the red hot furnace for cremation, my brother and myself doing the last rites.
This picture remains very clear because that was the most recent, and i would like to remember more of him,i try many a times to recall the small incidents, which in a way craft a bond between the father son relationship for the 12 years,we were together.
But,we humans have this tendency to forget and time always plays funny,it doesn't respect people,relationships and it is beyond any emotional bondage.But even then...sometime not everything is elusive and things which i dont remember of him,i hear from many people who were around for longer times and who have known him much better..
As a son,I had the opportunity to learn very few things from him,and the one I still remember is when,during the usual geetha paraayanam in the evening he told me,always think good of others,and do your maximum to help people in need.you may suffer a lot, but if you always think good ,it will always come back to you as kind,and mostly when you need it.He lived his thoughts.He never amassed any wealth in life and whatever he earned gave it to his long list of kins.
He left us a legacy,a treasure of goodwill,which is invaluable and even today when I hear people talk about him in high esteem, my eyes start to fill and i have goosebumps all around.What he said was right, for we are known by his name, even today.
He was a very tough man,who grew up as the eldest of 9 members and had lot of struggle in his life to sustain a livelyhood for all the members and he succeeded.I get strength from him when i face difficulties in life and realize how tough a life,he would have led.
I have rarely seen him laugh but, i believe he was a very jovial person too.his younger brothers tell me about the pranks they all used to do,when he returns on vacation from border.As he was the master of the 'house' he would ask each of his brothers to massage him,lying on his back and they would compete with each other to do it for they know that they are going to get some real 'tip' from him after that.
I remember him today,as he was taken away 25 years ago,exactly on the same day.Its a long time, but then his memories even if few,have brought us so far and long time to go further till I too go into oblivion,as do everyone else,but what we leave behind is important,as he did...