Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My daughters have grown up with three grandparents. They have their dadu and thamma (my husband’s father and mother) in Kolkata. And then they have their dida (my mother) in Bangalore. If they’ve ever wondered at the lopsidedness of the grand-parental-equation, they’ve never let me know about it. But then, children seem to have their own logic of working out these things.

Some time back, I was cleaning my clothes-cupboard when the two nosey-parkers poked their way in. Fiddling and flopping about on the clothes lying scattered all over the room, the lil cat (my elder daughter) dug out a framed photograph of my father from under a pile of sarees.

It was a twinkly-eyed photo of my father, taken during my uncle’s wedding, a huge happy celebration on a hot and happy day. Somehow, the photo always made me cry in remembrance.

“Who’s this, ma?”

“That’s my father, your chhobi-dadu (picture-grandfather)”.

“Where’s he now?”

“He died long back, long before you were born.”

“Is he a ghost then?” asked my elder one. “Is this a photo of a bhoot (ghost)?” echoed the copy-kitten, my younger daughter.

Bhoot in Bengali means both a ghost and the past. So I explained how my father was an inextricable part of my past, how I had grown up with him, all the little-big things we had done together, and how he was no more a part of our present lives, how he had gone away to a far, far place, away from all of us.

“But, ma, look, he has not gone away,” said my elder daughter, perhaps to console me because the happy-sad tears were flowing unchecked, “he’s there in the picture.”

“Yes, ma,” added the copy-kitten, “he’s the ghost caught in the picture.”

P.S: Thank you Scribbit, for your wonderful write-away contest which unlocked this ghost from the cupboard.


Aleta said...

I think this was a beautiful post. Children pointing out that a person is not in the past. When we have our memories, we keep the loved one with us.

Anonymous said...


I am Richa from SiliconIndia. I am also an avid blogger for a while now and participating actively in Indian blogosphere. I read your blog posting and found them very interesting and informative. We would love to see a copy of your blogs posted here, whenever you are posting it on Here are some of the benefits of posting your blogs here:

We have a strong community of 1 Million professionals
Best blogs of 2008 to be published in a book "SiliconIndia bLoG PrinT"
Best blog to be printed in SliconIndia & SmartTechie magazines each month
Chance to be featured on homepage everyday
There are 10,000 active bloggers who participate in active blogging

We appreciate your community initiative here and in helping build a more powerful India! Also, if you have any ideas or want to volunteer to help for SiliconIndia, we would be more than excited to get your help. Pls mail me back at with your suggestions and feedback.

Blog Editor – SiliconIndia

Lazyani said...

Beautifully written madam. Formed a lump in my throat.

Shubho Bijoya

ugich konitari said...

What a wonderful post. Children think in so unique a manner, and and so innocently innovative.....

sukku said...

Nice post and it's kind of touchy though...thanks

Scribbit said...

This was beautiful--sweet and tender!

The Scatterbrain said...

beautiful... sweet... Children have such simple faith! We have so much to learn from them!

Even Jesus pointed his disciples to children and asked them to observe them. He said "..for the kingdom of heaven is made of such as these"

Paul Bernard said...

Lovely little tale, SS.

Sarah said...

what a lovely post...

over from Scribbit's, by the way...

Peter Rozovsky said...

“But, ma, look, he has not gone away,” said my elder daughter, perhaps to console me because the happy-sad tears were flowing unchecked, “he’s there in the picture.”

Lovely even by your high standards. You provide some of my favorite reading on the Web.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Pinku said...


i lost my dad when I was fifteen...and your story makes me wonder what name my children will give him once they are able to comprehend the importance of the man in the picture in my life.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks everybody, this post is special to me because it is one of the many many ways I remember my father.

Mampi said...

Well I lost my father when i was 20 and my kids know him only as a picture from the past.
THey refer to him as Nana ji, I am sure he would never have wanted to be called Nanaji. Maybe Dad or Big-Dad or something like that.
The world is a small place and so identical, Su.