TO THOSE WHO ARE GONE

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People say time heals everything. Partly true, mostly wrong.

At first, my maternal uncle took the trip there, nobody knows exactly where. Then, my maternal grandpa. Shortly after, my maternal grandma followed him, like always. And then, I had to bid the toughest farewell of my life. Saying goodbye to my dad. Yes, as time passes by, these people visit my mind less frequently. But when they visit, they visit with all intensity. My dad is leading that team now. As he is the latest member of the gone team, at first, his memory comes to my mind without any consideration to the appropriateness of time and space (say when I am in an office meeting). Then the memories of my grandpa, grandma and uncle come…..altogether.

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A few years ago, I wrote a book on my ancestors. My dad had a genealogy map which he really treasured. But that map only contained the names of my long gone ancestors. I was more interested in the stories associated with those names. For the first time in my life, my research skills came to rescue me for a real life project. I took interviews of soon-to-be-gone ones, read all the diaries and family documents I could gather, visited graveyards to see if the epitaphs could reveal something about them.

I wrote that book. But, I can only share it with very few people. It will certainly upset some people in my family. Nobody wants to hear the dark side of their forefathers. Stemming from the same root (Kishore Mahmood – seven steps above me in the family tree), our family tree spread its branches all over. Some branches became enemies with each other, some branches do not even know they come from the same tree. For all those reasons, in the interviews, I got contradictory perspectives on certain lost ones. Almost all the grandchildren thought their grandfather was a hero, the other guy was the bad guy. The other guy’s grandchildren thought the opposite.

But, good or bad, they are gone. Some of them are gone so far that, without my book, not a single soul in this world would even know that they ever existed! How sad is that! How many of us can tell our great-grand father’s or mother’s name? I know very few of us can reach 100 years longevity and that may be okay. But in less than 100 years time, there will not be a single person in this world who will know my name and the fact that I ever existed! Actually, that realization inspired me to write that book. I kind of wanted to give some of my forefathers eternity. Their names and stories are in (private) cloud now. I really hope my future generations will treasure it and take pride in knowing the stories of their long gone ancestors.

In this write up (I am not sure yet if it will be just a blog post or a book or an unpublished draft), I want to write in a way where I can share my uncle, grandma, grandpa and dad’s stories with other people. I am not going to write their biographies. Biographies are mostly about the facts. But I want to write about the love, the way they loved me and the way I love them.

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