This afternoon, I come back from a meeting, hot and tired, and log on to my computer.
As I wait for my mailbox to open, I also log into facebook.
A quick glance. Various status updates, some videos, pictures, the usual stuff. I’m about to switch windows and go back to my mail, when I see a black and white photo.
Not an arty black and white photo taken with a fancy 10x camera. But an old grainy black and white photo that actually looks sepia now that I’m staring closer at it.
Suddenly, it strikes me my cousin is tagged on the photo. Then it strikes me that she’s written a hysterical oh-my-god under it.
I look closer now. It is my grandfather.
I can’t hear anything. I’m just staring at that screen. My grandfather. Some stranger has posted a picture of my grandfather.
My favourite. The one I believe looks over me. The one whose old flying license my grandmother once gave me, as a keepsake. The one, whose only picture I have stays carefully hidden in some prayer books.
A picture of my grandfather. And I discover it on facebook.
And the caption that goes with it.
“East Boroi Jam session Capt Mookerrji WM Pilot ex RAF man with so many tales, got me hooked onto planes.”
That’s how I’d like to remember my grandfather. Who died when I was thirteen.
My memories of him are of this crazy happy man who adored me, and talked so much, and sneaked out for cigarettes on my cycle.
My memories of him are also full of the crazy stories others tell me. How he flew people through storms. How he ran away and signed up for the RAF. How he could drink anyone under the table, and still fly out first thing in the morning. How he and my grand mom spent the night in the car, because a Royal Bengal tiger blocked their way, and my grand dad was only concerned about flying out, in the first light.
And then this picture. And the caption. And the fact that this is how a stranger remembers him too.
Facebook. We call it social media. A networking site. And today, whatever you call it; it made my day, like no other.