This evening as I was looking for something to turn into my desktop picture I realised that in the last five years I have not one single picture of myself with my grandfather. I have pictures of us on a group, or sitting with family, but of just the two of us, capturing some part of the camaraderie we shared- not one. I did locate a picture of the two of us sitting side by side at a table in a restaurant. The picture was taken on a family trip, where three separate units piled into cars, cousins, grandparents and all to go to a wildlife sanctuary. We like this particular restaurant. My grandfather liked it too. It served chutney that did not offend him, and sambar that he could almost tolerate, despite being it being run by Kannadigas. I remember this meal. I sat by him and we decided to get one dosa, one plate of idli and one plate of vada to split between the two of us. And one filter coffee and one tea. He warned me that I would not like the tea. He was right. The picture has me reaching into his plate. Something I frequently did, if I saw something there that I wanted.
I am trying to think back but I can no longer recall the exact date on which he died. I never really knew the date of his birth. Some time in August. Or maybe it was in September. Maybe its my grandmother who is in August.
Two days ago I was at drinks with people that I do not know very well, and one man whom I think of as a kindred spirit. He instinctively understands, and this is wonderful. He mentioned that a neighbour's father had cancer of the kidneys and the lungs. While everyone commiserated, and the discussion moved on to the subject of the neighbour's dogs all I could think was- if he is lucky this neighbour's father's kidneys will fail before his lungs.