Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Earliest Memory

The whole idea of writing a post on your 'Earliest memories' spiralled about when on a cold Sunday morning, dear Vidya on facebook requested us fellow Write Tribers to cheer her up with some of our favorite photos, as she was down with flu. What started with photo-sharing frenzy throughout the week, the ooooh n aaaah's at some cute infant pictures of our friends, ultimately culminated in this fabulous idea! Thank you Apoorva for tagging me in this fun chain!

Remember how I mentioned earlier that I am starting a new series on my blog 'YOU Inspire', this post is about my earliest memories of my dear Nanaji (Grandfather) who has had such a huge influence in my life and has always been a constant source of inspiration and light.

Tuesdays with Nanji - that's what I would like to call my earliest memory with him. ('Sushh...quiet' - that's for the many lovely memories in my head shouting 'pick-me, pick-me') Evey Tuesday it was a ritual to go to the Hanumanji mandir, where more than the temple visit I was interested in the activities happening outside the worship area. There at a stall, my Grandfather worked as a volunteeer serving the many believers and worshipers, water and prasad. I was so excited to be a part of this do-good! Pouring sweetened water in their cups and watching them bring it to their lips quenching their thirst in the blistering summer heat, wouldn't you say pure bliss? At a very early age, he instilled in us the idea of service! And how! Not by order or force, but by the sheer way of doing. His actions inspired us! To that and many such lessons throught my growing up years and even now, I just want to say 'Thank you Nanaji'!

Today I also have three beautiful guests on my blog. Three daughters who would like to share some of their memories and inspirations of the Man of the hour!



Handing over to my eldest aunt, Alka Saxena.

Papa is a shayar at heart and that is how I remember him. To be able to see someone who has been so close to you in a single role is just not possible. For me papa is basically very sensitive, emotional, caring, loving and affectionate towards everyone and all this unconditional love stems from his shayarana temperament. 

During his formative years the social fabric and values were entirely different from what we see around us today. His childhood and youth spent in chamcham gali were seeped in tehzeeb, nafasat and adab. The pace of life was comfortable and soothing and relationships blossomed in an environment of brotherhood and selfless love. Living in large joint families inculcated a sense of graceful tolerance and unquestioned acceptance of everyone despite their foibles and frailities.

Papa being the youngest in his family has always been the favourite chacha of his neices and nephews and even today all the grand children of the family are genuinely fond of him. I would really love to emanate the same love that overflows in papa's heart. 

Today papa is drawn towards spiritualism and in reading the scriptures but I feel that this heart throbs with mausiqui, which I think is different from music. Mausiqui is the very rhythm of ones pulse, it reverberates the entire being, it requires no accompaniment. No jargon, no noise, it just flows with you and makes you crave for symphony and to be in tune with the music of the cosmos. When papa goes out to pick flowers from the garden for his daily puja he hears the whisper in the early morning breeze I am sure he is capable of hearing the notes that come from the eastern sky! Papa’s ear never fails to catch the first cry of the koel, or the sight of the neelkanth when it perches as a blithe spirit in our garden. He watches with a boyish enthusiasm when the squirrels and sparrows come and nibble the rice and kakoon grains that he sprinkles for them each morning in the garden. Both Papa and Ma love the riot of colours when seasonal flowers bloom in the flower beds, be it the english rose, flocks, crysanthemums, poppies, bela, juhi, hibiscus,lillies,or pansies.I have beautiful memories of going and admiring flowers at the annual flower show held at the Botanical Gardens in Lucknow. 

Papa grew up in an atmosphere when Urdu , Farsi and English were very popular. But I admire his will to learn Sanskrit with the assistance of my Mom (MA Sanskrit), in order to read and understand The Gita, and shlokas fron the Vedas . 


 It is not easy to say how Papa inspires me but I do feel that he is blessed with ruhaniyat , which is rare, it is the grace of God and I pray to God through papa that I be touched by this divinity that he has the privilege to possess. Papa and Mom, proud to have you as my parents. Love you and may you be the constant source of inspiration in my life!   

Wasn't that beautiful, her expressions so poetic! Now my Mom, Amita Kaushiva, will take it from here.

My role models are my parents for they inspire me in innumerable ways. Papa has always shown such amazing grace in showing respect to all elders of our family be it from his side of the family or from my mother's side. The emotional bond he shares with his nephews and nieces and their families is one of sheer unconditional love and at the same time he is equally caring and affectionate towards my mamas, mausis and their families. I have not seen many families who can talk about such relationships. I think i take after him in this regard.

Papa has always been a workaholic throughout his career with the Health and Family Welfare Dept of U.P. Extremely committed, punctual and with an indefatigable approach to work he always made a mark for himself but loved to remain modest. Two instances come to my mind, one when he would get ready for office some good fifteen minutes before time and the other a more prominent one which greatly influenced all of us. It happened one cold winter evening when we were snuggled up in the warmth of our blankets that papa had an unexpected visitor. Suddenly we heard papa raising his voice and ordering that person to leave. Shaken up by that and unable to fathom why this sudden fury we understood later that it was somebody who wanted an undue favour from him for which he was offering him a bribe in the form of a gift. We lived in our humble dwellings and held our heads up in pride for the values we upheld.


Another amazing thing about Papa is his love for music, poetry, dance and places historical and religious. Even today I wait for his call to enquire about a particular raaga or ask me to switch on DD Bharti and listen to some interesting programme. Papa you are my true inspiration thanks for all the small and big ways in which you continue to help me evolve as a person!

This last paragraph, is so true. It is these interests of his, even till date which keeps all of us on a continous path of learning and achieving, be it our creative spheres or academic! My youngest aunt, Anuradha Saxena, has her own sweet account to share. Just the smiplicity of the nature of this memory is so beautiful :)

My dearest memory of Papa is the time the entire family sat down together for tea as soon as Papa would come home from office. We rushed excitedly to greet him, leaving aside whatever we were doing and all of us shared our day...the minutest details. What was routine for us, amazed my friends, whose fathers generally maintained a distance from the children and most of them were scared of communicating with their fathers. Thank you Papa-Mummy, for involving us in every day matters of importance, for the space and the ease of conversations, for not having to think twice before speaking our minds openly!

myearliestmemory
With that I bring you the very first edition of 'YOU Inspire! Hugs to my aunts and mum for being so supportive and to you readers for being patient!

This earliest memory post was packed with lots! Hope you enjoyed :) Let this chain of earliest memories continue, and I tag the talented and bubbly Jyoti next . As you read and re-read ;) our posts hope you are reminded of your own good old days! Do share your memories here! 

46 comments:

  1. What lovely memories of a great man you all shared! I truly enjoyed reading about him. ♥

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  2. Such men, in that era, were rare to find. I can imagine the awe and the inspirations. Loved reading about him here. Thank you for sharing this Aditi. :)

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    1. True Jyoti...his likes are a rarity even in this generation!

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  3. Grandparents are so special and I love how you invited your mom and aunts to share their memories too.

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    1. Thanks Suzy! They were so supportive and considering we were on a time schedule here they all sent their write ups dutifully! Hehe...love them for that!

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  4. What a super idea to get your mum and aunt to talk about your grandfather. He sound a very interesting person. Enjoyed the post.

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  5. What a beautiful post to share the love his daughters have for him... and such a beautiful idea asking your his daughters to share their memories. :)

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  6. Loved the way you have woven this post full of memories of your grandfather, Aditi!! Awesome.
    You all are so proud of him and loved the evening tea together ritual. Such a fab time to bond.
    Beautiful post! :)

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    1. Yes Shilpa the evening tea ritual is an imp ritual... A great way to bond! And as all his daughters remember Nanaji used to share everything about his work...where he went that day, what he said etc etc...the minutest of details :) :)

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  7. Wow! your aunts and your mom did that so we can have a peek into the lovable ma your Nanaji is. Ah! So beautiful.

    My Nanaji (we used to call him Daddy) was also a inspiration and I have some great memories of him as well. :)

    Grandparents are so much fun!

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    1. :) I know Kajal...sweetest creations of god...grandparents!

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  8. This an such an amazing post Aditi...loved how you managed to get your mum and aunts to share their memories as well. He sounds like such an inspirational person...

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  9. I am really glad reading about your grandpa… and no doubt, he’s quite an inspiration! I also enjoyed reading from your aunt and mom’s experience and relationship with him. Even general communication is missing at many homes these days, your grandpa has led an example how family relationships should be and social concerns are handled. Be proud and cheers him always :)

    Thank you

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    1. So true Jeevan...he is one person who holds the entire family together... Not just his immediate family but even the second and third cousins etc. Everyone has such a huge regard for him. We all are truly blessed!

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  10. Thanks for ur inspiration and motivation dearest Aditi! This is such a wonderful way of telling Nanaji how much u love him :) A big hug to u from momy, keep it up my girl!!

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  11. such a beautiful family with a strong center. :)

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    1. Yes Tex...n the center my grandparents!

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  12. Now I know where you got your inspiration to serve and your love for music from, Aditi. What a lovely tribute the three daughters wrote. Your Nanaji must be a very proud man today! ♥

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    1. Yes Cory...it all runs in the family ;)

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  13. I had goose flesh in the end. I could suddenly imagine this family in front of my eyes. And it had so many things common with mine..Aditi thanks a lot for sharing with us the story of the man who we might never had a chance to meet if not for you :-) Please do keep on doing this always..

    Richa

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    1. Awww...thanks so much Richa...this was the sweetest comment! You know u can meet him in person too...in lucknow! ;)

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  14. hi aditi enjoyed reading all the memeories and your write up as well. good job keep it up

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    1. Mausi love you...thank u so much for sharing your memory with us...you write so well...so poetic n 'ruhaniyat' yes that's the perfect description for Nanaji :)

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  15. I am also from Lucknow....and reading the post was like going down the memory lane..... I felt related in terms of feelings also....
    A lovely post.....All the best

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    1. Thank u so much Shelly. I'm finding a lot many bloggers from Lucknow... We should plan a meet up next time I'm there...

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  16. Aditi through write tribe I am bumping into so many people from Lucknow :) it seems love for words comes from the place ... I loved your post ..It truly does inspire ..what a amazing man your grandfather was...

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    1. Yesss...so many lko bloggers... We need a meet up! Thanks for your lovely comment! :)

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  17. Awesome post. Loved the way you got your mom and aunts to share their memories of the man you admire.

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  18. Aditi congrats for this initiative. Reading this blog made me nostalgic going back to my teens on 19th January, 1956, when I first met your Nana Ji. my brother-in-law ( Jija Ji) on his wedding day with your Nani Ji, my eldest sister (Jiji). I was then 13 years & for me the wedding ceremonies were great fun & feasting at our home at Sitapur, U.P.
    Wedding party those days used to stay at bride's place for 3 days for many interesting ceremonies & in one of the ceremonies I heard his Shayari for the first time that was then beyond my comprehension. At the the time of departure of wedding party back to Agra, Jija ji asked me what would I like to have as a gift. I thought I will ask something impossible for him to gift......I asked TAJ MAHAL. On his first visit to our home after marriage I was amazed & thrilled to receive a very beautiful Taj Mahal made of marble packed in the gift box. That was the beginning a very special bond between us, he bestowed utmost love & affection to me & I have held him in the highest esteem with respect since then.
    I had the privilege of staying with him at Baharaich & Lucknow and Alka, Amita & Anuradha grew up in my hands. I found Jija ji having intense interest in Shayari, literature & history that he often used to discuss and sing his Ghazals. He used to love playing 'Bridge'..... I learnt this game of cards playing with him. Jija is a complete package on art of living in complete harmony & tune with mind, body, & spirit with everyone in the family.

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    1. Nanaji this was such a beautiful memory you shared of his! Aren't we all blessed and still we have so much to learn from him. Thank u so much for gracing my blog :)

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  19. Wow!! Your grandpa was an amazing man! And what a novel idea getting your mom and your aunts to talk about him! :)
    You are indeed blessed my dear :)

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  20. Thts such a different take n such a honour for ur grandpa!

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  21. He was so happy Meena...I could tell from his voice and he went through all the comments too and enjoyed this love!

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  22. Such a lovely idea to get your aunts and mother to share their memories of your grandfather. For a daughter, a father is the MOST PERFECT man in the whole world. And that is what has come across so beautifully.

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  23. I read this on my mobile first and as usual was swept away by your post. It is a lovely way of bringing together the three beautiful daughters to share their memories about their father, via your blog post. Your nanaji is an exceptional person and also really lucky to have such amazing women in his life, you included!

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  24. Amazing share Aditi. Do pass my regards to your Nanaji. :)
    It is indeed such sweet memories that compose our life & influence us in ways that even we are unaware of. The idea "YOU inspire!" sounds really interesting. Looking forward to more such inspiring stories. :)

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  25. You are blessed with a wonderful family..Your earliest memory is very sweet..Lovely post Aditi :-)

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