It was the pre-independent era of 1930s. A child was enrolled into a playgroup. When he was taken to the classroom, he refused to sit there. So, for him, a car was painted on the walls. Only then did he go there.
One day, he climbed the third floor of his home and headed towards a balcony which had its railing broken. His father came upstairs searching him. The little was near the edge, when the father softly called his name, ‘Anil…’. Small steps turned back towards the father.
He was eating a snack on a train, when a crow entered from the window and snatched it from his tiny fingers. Quite an adventures little kid he seems to be.
On one fine afternoon, while he was appearing for his medical exams; he enjoyed the delicacies brought by his friends’ servants while his friend frantically revised the course. Well, this doctor to be was done with the studies for that exam.
Days turned into months and months turned into years. In all of them, Dr Anil Shah led a hard working life. His work hours would begin from 8 in the morning and would last till 9:30 in the evening. Apart from humble amount of money, he earned trust and love of his patients. His diagnosis would be so accurate that patients who had been disappointed by number of medicines of high power and consulting specialists; could be cured by minimal amount of medicines and careful treatment of this general practitioner. It has been one and a half year since his soul travelled to another life, but people treated by him still remember him and misses his treatment and his soft nature.
Extraordinary people pass on their heritage in the form of fortune they have made. My grandfather left a legacy that none of those fortunes can buy. He was an ordinary man and yet extraordinary in the way he lived his life. He would speak less, quite less. He was known to be a quiet person. But I know that he was a thinker. A time traveller. Because he had likings of things that would take him beyond the time and space. And that legacy, he passed on to me.
My grandpa was my first story teller. Every night, before sleeping, he would tell me a story. Never repeating the old one. Together with my other family members who would bring me story books frequently; he had opened doors of many worlds that could be entered through the doors of those books. I remember sitting next to him with my pictured story books that I could not read. I would point out to the picture and ask him, ‘Dada, what does this say?’ Today, when I look at those books and read the texts, it says exactly what dada said. Our journey began with those children’s story books and continued towards discussing world Philosophies. It made me feel grown up when he would ask me meanings of certain Sanskrit words or ask me to explain some ambiguous shloka he had come across. In recent times, we had sorted, classified and made a catalogue of books that belonged to our home library. What a tedious task that was! Though the result was quite satisfactory! Our bond only strengthened while we discussed our view points on every possible subject of the world.
He loved travelling. He had visited many corners of India. He particularly favoured natural surroundings and ancient architectural monuments. So do I. Before taking this long trip to another lifetime, he had visited mount Girnar. I had asked about it and he narrated the trip in his signature style. A deep serious voice with added humour. You are likely to miss it if your attention would waver.
Dada was a lover of arts. He had taken my father and aunt to art galleries and exhibitions when they were little. He himself was an amateur artist. Look at paper stencils he has made. More then the detailing, I am amazed by his choice of subjects!
And he was a huge admirer of Indian classical music. To see him enjoying the music was a chance one can’t miss. It turned him on like anything. Together with my grandma, he had gone to many musical concerts.
I smile while writing this, because this boon of writing too is part of the heritage he had passed on to me. He wrote whenever time allowed him to. Poems, essays, stories and small book reviews. And I write too. To express my gratitude. For passing on the likings, ethics and a strong example to live life fully and lovingly. Love you, Dada.
You will inspire me, always.
Happy 82nd Birthday to you!