6 years- the time between my paternal grandfather being operated on and my maternal grandfather being operated on. If anything embodies time, then it is the experiences around these two grandfathers.
Back in 2011, just before my paternal grandfather passed away, he was operated on for a blood clot in his brain. In the days that followed, we vetoed the idea of an attendant and between my father, my brother, my uncle and I- we took turns being his attendant while my mother and my aunt ensured his timely meals and nutrition. All in all family effort. At 68 kilos then, I lifted by substantially heavier grandfather and did so with ease and effort. When he passed away- I was distraught with grief, being my first experience around bereavement.
But 6 years later, as my maternal grandfather recovers from a hip replacement, I, along with my family, had to ensure the services of an attendant as my parents are old themselves and my back suffers from a spinal disc herniation. My maternal grandfather himself represents the inevitable authority of time. As a person he is disciplined without compromise. Gets up at 4 am, goes on his walks in the morning and evening, consumes healthy food and does not suffer from diabetes or blood pressure- the two inevitable characteristics of Indians. As far as I recollect, he never compromised on his television shows or access to newspapers, no matter who had to make the sacrifices for his benefit. He ruled his business and his home with authority, honour and while biased, he did his best trying to keep it together for his children. Yet time has caught up to him. He is frail and needs assistance to walk.
With these experiences, I have realised what a gift my parents have ensured for me. By ensuring their independence and my basic necessities, I now have the time to reflect on time. Time will run out, but I have the luxury of a choice. Either I can be conscious of its slow passing or live in a way where my time runs out before I know when or how.
Dear LBC writers, apologies for the delayed posting. I was caught up travelling for a conference and later for a small two day holiday to Italy and between cliff diving and gorging on pasta, couldn’t find the “time” to post.