I’ve had some special affection for my grandfather (dada ji) inspite of the fact that I’ve spent very less time with him as my father was living far away from where dada ji was. Perhaps it was his strong personality , his clarity in decisions or just the pure wisdom he would shower on any topic that’s been bought to his notice.
For instance, I remember once me and my cousin were taking dada ji for some eye check from Bhopal to Indore and the new four lane highway has just come up. In the 4 hours of journey, me and my cousin were constantly arguing on pros and cons of having highways that cut off the villages , depriving them of various benefits of being on the main commercial road. We argued like mad for hours trying to prove each other’s point. I persisted it’s bad to have highways, he persisted it’s good. When two of us could not reach a conclusion we decided to disturb the only silent listener with us who has been bearing our conversation for hours now. My cousin hastingly asked “Dada Ji, you only tell – isn’t development part of our life , what’s wrong in highways ? “. We both were now hoping for a long good conversation on the topic but his reply was epic yet simple. He said ” Son, whatever we do will always have two sides. One good and one bad.” and returned to his silent composure. There was silence for quite sometime while we both brood over our own stupidity.
Anyways, his wisdom was pristine and deep. May be that’s what attracted me to him . I still don’t know why but I do feel some attachement to him. He was a strong man with no ailments whatsover but around 85 he started collapsing. A lot of health issues suddenly crept in from diabetes to constipation to eyesight loss to swollen prostrate. We knew he has started his downfall.
I’ve moved to the farm by this time and was busy planting trees and learning farming. Severe constipation was his major worry which is why perhaps he was really fond of “Papayas”. He will be very happy if we gift papayas to him. He would often ask us to get papayas from market too. So, when I took to farming, I developed a dream. I wish I could take Dada ji to my farm where there are ample organic papayas which he can cherish…
So, I would plant dozens of Papayas every year. Did all that I could and yet in 6 years failed to get a single papaya. I almost gave up on papayas and my dream was far to be fullfilled especially with Dada Ji’s health detriorating fast.
As life would have it. As existence has always been kind to me. One tree that grew on it’s own and was later also eaten by a cow continued to grow and we without any hopes just kept it alive. It started fruting just at right time – the lockdown. Just when world shut down during Covid Pandemic we had a bumper crop of papayas.
What’s more , we recently Got Dada Ji also to farm and the tree continued bestowing us with papayas. The day I cut first farm papaya and fed to me Dada ji, it felt so magical. I felt as if I’ve achieved something so astonishing. My joy knew no bound.
Dada Ji is still at farm and we hope to keep him here till it gets little uncomfortable here around onset of monsoon. He is very weak and almost not in worldly sense. He eats, sleeps, and blabbers but is unable to move or really understand what’s happening around. But everyday from last almost a month, the tree has been giving us papayas and that’s what has been his breakfast. A deep contentment is the reward.
This incidence, yet again, tells me that there is little we can really do. It’s life / nature /God that doesn everything. The best crops I get from farm are the ones that I never planted conciously. God farms, we cherish. I farm , I perish 😉