Friday, February 20, 2015


My paternal grandfather, a matriculate, was a postmaster in Leh Ladakh area. A simple self-made man, he described himself in his job application as a very good "typewriter", something he joked about with us later in life. As a postmaster, he saved up all his Travel Allowance by going everywhere on foot instead of on horseback, just so his kids could be educated. Of his four children, two became doctors and one an officer in the Indian Army.

My maternal grandparents were school teachers in Delhi. Grandfather was an English teacher and Grandmother a maths teacher. They were jobless for long periods during the turmoil of partition and had to send their kids away to their grandfather because there wasn't enough money for all. Even when they both found jobs, they lived frugally because school teachers were paid very little. My mother and her younger sister went on to become doctors, famous in their chosen fields.

I wonder if our great fortune of being born in well-educated, reasonably well-off families deprives us of opportunities to experience such great transformations. But then, because our circumstances are way better than our parents', perhaps we have a bigger responsibility to transform ourselves into better human beings! 

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