Can we love and feel someone as our own even if we have never met the person?I am not talking of the feelings some teenagers and many grown-ups too have for their ideals(be it a film star or a sportsman).I mean someone whom you have seen only in a photograph and realise late in life that how this person has been a part of your life (in fact,the whole family's)witnessing everything from that frame on the wall?
We(my sister and me) call him "Dadu".No,he never called us back because he was long gone before we came into this world.My dadu(paternal grandfather)had left for his heavenly abode in his early forties leaving behind his widow and 3 kids,the oldest of whom(my dad) was only 12 then.So,unfortunately,the family had him with them for a very short period of time.
Surprisingly ,we felt his presence in all walks of our lives in more than one way.Since I was a child ,I remember praying for his blessings before starting anything important be it school exams or any other competition.On every festive occassion,be it "Bijoya Dashami" or "Poila Boisakh",we used to bow down in front of his photo and seek his blessings before touching the feet of "Thakuma"(maternal grandmother) and other elders.Not only did we go to Dadu(I mean,his photograph) before the commencement of anything ,but also never forgot to share with him the results(just a "pranam" was the means of communication ).He was the first one to get a "Tika" on every Holi and the first to get a "Diya" lit near his photo every Diwali in our house.
We never got to see any other snaps of "Dadu" except the one framed on the wall nor any belongings of him other than a cigarette case.Maybe,the struggles that my grandma had to face in bringing up the three kids single-handedly in those days didnt leave my grandma with the energy to save some of his belongings as keepsake for the future generation.So, the photograph was the only thing we knew adout "Dadu".
He was there in my prayers when I was getting ready as a bride on my wedding day,when I was in labour and heading towards the hospital for the birth of my first born,when I was going for my first job interview and on every important event in my life.I have never seen you but I know you;I have never touched you but can feel you;I have never hugged you but I love you,Dadu!!And I know you love us and keep us blessing from that wall even today!!