Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thrilling moments

All of us go through the inevitable ups and downs in our lives. We have our happiest moments, saddest moments, and memorable moments. When someone asks you what the thrilling moments of your lives were, what would be your response? Is a thrilling moment any way different from a memorable or happy moment? Oxford dictionary defines thrill as `a sudden strong feeling of pleasure or excitement`.

I consider the following as the most thrilling moments of my life:

Like millions of children from a lower middle class family, I grew up in a small one room tenement in a Bombay chawl. The 280 sq. ft room had no place for any kind of furniture leave alone writing tables and chairs for children. As a school student I used to long for a table and chair. But there was no hope with my father’s meager income supporting a big family. So I decided to help myself. As a resourceful person even as a kid I assembled a writing table using the discarded deal wood planks which I picked up from the fruit market adjacent to our chawl. With two planks forming the two legs and one as the top, a functional table was ready.

I can never forget the thrill I experienced when I sat on a multipurpose stool in front of the so called table and put my fountain pen on a notebook to write. At last I had a table to write on!


Life rolled on. I took up advertising as a career. I moved up in life. Moved to Chennai to take up a new job, when God willed it that I build a house of my own. With loans from Provident Fund, friends and relatives and of course the inevitable LIC, I started construction of my dream home. The foundation was laid, masonry work proceeded swiftly and the walls were built. It was time to lay the roof of the building. On an auspicious day a battery of workers stood in line on the ground, on the ladder etc. to carry the concrete mix to lay it directly on the roof.

At the end of the day my wife and I were allowed to climb the makeshift ladder to see the freshly laid wet concrete, evenly spread across the roof area. Oh! The thrill that went through me that day is still fresh in my memory. Just to think that my family will have a roof of our own and one of my dreams was turning into reality made me have goose pimples!


My children grew up, school, followed by college, and my eldest daughter got married at the age of 21, when I was in my early fifties. Within two years of her marriage my daughter conceived and everyone on both sides of the family waited with bated for the good news of the arrival of a new born baby. It was 4th December 1996. I was in the office and I got the news that my daughter had delivered a bonny baby boy and that my wife and I had become grandparents for the first time.

I literally jumped from my seat and screamed: “I have now become a Thatha, I have got the greatest promotion in my life!”

Those who have gone through the feeling would know that the joy of becoming a grandparent is much greater than when one becomes a parent for the first time. While with parenthood comes responsibilities of bringing up children and the apprehensions associated with it, grand parenthood is all fun and no responsibilities - at least for the grandfathers!

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