“Throughout my childhood, I have loved my grandfather, who I called Andybhai (it’s a Bengali thing) more than I loved my parents. He wasn’t a part of my childhood, he was it. He lived in Kolkata, and I in Delhi. The only reason I looked forward to summer vacations as a kid was not because I didn’t like school, but because I was about to live a month and a half of pure bliss. We used to go the market every morning, even if we didn’t have to buy anything, because that was our time. He was a lawyer, so everyday when he got back, he’d get me something. I loved how he never got the same thing twice. He told me stories that were full of magic and miracles and hope and love. He would always treat me like an adult and that’s probably why we were tight like a knot. As I grew up, he told me stories of the partition and how life was in Bangladesh before they moved to India. He didn’t care if it was politically incorrect to tell his granddaughter such stories. As he grew older, we used to watch TV together,but our trips to the market never stopped. Except I now realise that he was much slower and weaker, but all that vanished when he drank tea and smoked a self rolled cigarette. All this time, my worst nightmare was that one day I would get a long distance call telling me about his death. I didn’t want to be one of the many phone calls my grandmother or uncle were to make.
It was April 2013. I had finished with my board exams, and I was home and bored and Andybhai came all the way to keep me company till my college started. But during his visit, he fell ill. It was the 2nd of May, 2013 when he passed away in my lap. I lost a part of me that day, a part that I always knew I would one day lose but I wasn’t prepared for it.
So if you really think about it, my worst nightmare didn’t come true. I wasn’t at the receiving end of the phone call, I was the one making it.”
-Storyteller : Anonymous