A reason to celebrate

Last Updated 16 November 2014, 19:29 IST

The bond between grandfathers and grandkids is one of the most rewarding friendships in life.

Tahani is an Arabic word. It means “a reason to celebrate” and I get “a reason to celebrate” once every week or every fortnight, when I go to her or she comes to my place. Tahani is my 19-month-old granddaughter. She stays with my son who lives about an hour’s drive away from us, which makes it possible for us to see them fairly frequently.

Whenever we visit them, my little darling runs straight to me and laces her arms around my waist as she hugs me tight. She jumps up into my arms and squeals with delight. I am often struck by her innocence and the sheer joy of living that she exudes. Her eyes dance with excitement and her body language compliments our visit. 

From the time she could walk and talk on her own, Tahani greets me at the door itself by flinging her tiny arms around my legs and screaming in a language better know to her – perhaps, she yells ‘Dadu’ (grandpa).

Holding my hand she yanks me with excitement towards the corridor to watch the doves swooping beneath the apartment’s beams. I feel great holding her in my arms  after a sufficiently long time – the seven days in a week is a long time for me. The excitement of both grandfather and granddaughter is peppered with cries and shouts that only two best buddies can understand, no matter what their age.

This is our ritual, every time. But each time, my eyes well with tears at the sight of my little granddaughter. The touch of those small hands permeate my skin and travel to the very core of my heart and soul.

As I lift her up, she rubs her pretty little face on my shoulder, locks her fingers together and burrows her head into my shoulder, finding just the right spot for comfort and solace. It is one of those great experiences I cherish. 

I feel good holding her as she peacefully sleeps in my arms. While I cuddle her, my heavy heart fills with warmth and emotion. I whisper my thanks to God for a wonderful life, full of significance and a family to love. It has a purpose, I am truly blessed. Cradling the little one in my embrace, I stare down at her as if trying to etch her memory into my mind to last till the next visit.

It is a terrific bonding between a granddaughter and a grandfather. It is among the most rewarding friendships of a grandfather’s life, coming as it does in the autumn of his lives.As we grow older, our children leave us and start families of their own. We’re so proud of them, and yet our hearts are constantly aching.

Their old bedrooms are silent and empty. We no longer hear their young voices echoing through the house, and we begin experiencing a certain craving to be around young people again. But this is the call of the time. Enduring with the availability is a choice.

(Published 16 November 2014, 19:29 IST)

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