A Celebration of Life
A little over two years ago, I wrote about Gagan’s grandmother [here]. And today’s post is about his grandfather – Babaji (Hindi for Grandfather) who in the 11 years I’ve known him has influenced my life in more ways that I can describe.
On April 16th, 2010 Babaji left us but we are left with so much more than just his memories. His legacy so large, so immense, so great that I don’t know where to begin. I have put a lot of thought into whether or not I should write this post, simply because whatever I say about him is not enough. I am never going to find words to describe his greatness, his love, his principals. So this post is my humble attempt to honor him in my heart and with you my friends.
Because of his illustrious career in the Indian Administrative Services, most people knew him (a lot of them even intimidated by him) as a man of principals, integrity and honor. In the 80’s he retired as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India – a Presidential appointment conferred only on those of the highest caliber.
But what most people don’t know is what I am going to talk about today. He possessed some of the finest and rarest qualities in a man. For his family and friends he was an extremely affectionate and generous man who always put their needs before his. I’ve always admired his sense of humor and the ability of taking rational decisions even in times of stress and sorrow. He was a “Karma Yogi”. He believed in hard work and honesty. When Gagan’s grandparents visited us here a few years ago, I had taken the day off from work to help them get settled but he simply wouldn’t hear of it. “Work comes first, Beti” (Hindi for daughter). “We are at home here. Do not worry about us. “. Sure enough I showed up at work much to the surprise of my boss 🙂
The few weeks they spent with us is one of the most precious time in my life when I got to learn from him, spend time with him and hear his stories from back in the day. The red maple in our front yard was his favorite tree! And every afternoon he and Dadima (Grandmother) would sit under the tree enjoying a hot cup of tea. Simplicity of life is what he believed in.
Always a giver, he was a big proponent of education and was on the board of many schools and colleges. It is no wonder that when one of the colleges did a memorial for him today, over 600 people came to offer their respect to him! He was a much loved man. Today while he is no longer with us, he has left behind a legacy which cannot be measured, for he was, simply put…
A G.R.E.A.T Man
Starting next week I will be spending time in India, with family, with Dadima to celebrate his life.