Yes it is 6th January 1918. Why did I say this was the greatest puzzle I have ever solved – because it is the birth date of my dearest Tatayya( Granddad) – my soul mate and my darling. I just thought what if one of the pieces in the puzzle was missing. Would it make a difference? Ofcourse not, it did not make any in the last 9 decades of his life. He always lived a free man and of course a hassle free man :-).
My days spent with my grandparents in their village, during school vacation are the best memories I have of my childhood. Coming from an agriculture based family – I had all the fun running around the farms, climbing the trees, harvesting the feed, washing the cows, pulling water from the wells, riding the bullock carts –Oh I just could do whatever I wanted and was treated like a princess in the village they lived in. Celebrated all festivals in their full glory making the rangolis – one bigger than the other, dancing around them, everyday was a Diwali - helping clean the lanterns and lighting them in and around the house ( They did not have electricity in the villages in those days). Always gobbling up the yumm yumm fresh butter that my grandma used to store to make ghee, lip smacking smoked food cooked in the earthen ware pots..... oh the memories are too many and I am sad that my children could not experience the same.
Viswanatham as he is called, he is just 93 yrs old, weak and fragile in his body but as good in his memory as any of us. He told me in Dec - I am a bit weak , else I would have come and visited you in Norway. Isn't that sweet? It is amazing a man from a small village in India , who had no education whatsoever, learn't some numbers and alphabets to maintain his family expenditure, helped my grandmother in her household works, who was sort of “treasurer” to the entire village where people trusted him with their gold, cash and documents to be tucked away in his big Iron safe which only he can operate :-). He follows cricket like any of us do and knows by name all the cricketers world wide. He looked at my son in the last visit in July and said that his hair style looked like Ricky Ponting – The Australian cricket captain :-). He greets every visitor to the house and enquires about their kith and kin remembering all in 5 generations leaving everyone in awe. I am his favorite grandchild and he is my dearest dearest granddad and that inner connection we share is divine.