Tuesday, October 27, 2009

sepia coloured happiness

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.

*that's my grand dad. centre stage, with a drink in his hand. yes, it is a family trait!


Mumbai Diva said...

hmmmm. well. that's facebook for you!!
the post left me kinda teary eyed. very sweet.

Mohan said...

A picture speaks a lot. Thanks for all the social media to recall our good old days and cherish those memories.

Saltwater Blues said...

How come you didn't take to flying AGG, seing how it's in the family and all?

There's this old dude who lives down the road from me who was also a pilot with the RAF ... one tough mother he is - even in his eighties he walks absolutely straight and can see without glasses. Group Capt D'souza he's called - flew Spitfires over Burma and gave the Japs hell. At least he says he did. But looking at his Distinguished Flying Cross all nicely framed I tend to believe he ain't fibbing.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

There are uses to facebook after all. My husband had found some old snaps of his uncle who had been martryed when his daughter was a few months old. the daughter ( and the family have gradually lost touch with these folks).This daughter found the snaps on FB and well, very sentimental moment again.

oRange* said...

awh! thats really cool ya!

Perakath said...

Hey isn't that my grandmother there on the left?

Pinku said...

Ur post brought tears AGG.

three cheers to grand dad!!

The knife said...

What a wonderful post to read just as I leave for calcutta tomorrow to celebrate my grandfather's 90th birthday on Sunday

I will definitely raise a toast to your's the next time I have a beer. RAF!!! Wow, he lived Commando Comics life

Facebook's quite a binder

The knife said...

took the liberty of posting this on ... facebook

agent green glass said...

@mumbai diva: teary eyed : )i kept blinking back tears as i wrote this.

@mohan: yup, though i would never have even for a moment thought something like this would happen on facebook. really, the world is shrinking rapidly.

@SwB:lol. that's true. every single man and woman on my dad's side of the family can fly a bloody plane. though that's the thing, i think i'll be great at flying one, just not too good with being a passenger. its a control freak thing. : )

spitfires eh? nice. my grand dad flew the same aircraft's. these old guys always remind me of biggles. ever read biggles?

@cynic in wonderland: wow. i'm a sentimental fool. i always feel goose bumpy when i read stuff like this.

@orange: yeah. i know. and the picture caption just did it for me. dadu was a cool guy.

@perakath: ha, who can tell. it is most certainly not my grand mom in that picture. she would have been glaring at my grand dad.

@pinku: hugs.

@the knife: thank you. raise a toast for sure. i'm sure he's enjoying his drink where ever he is. and facebook - of course!

wow. your grand dad turns 90. wish him from me. have a great trip. and have a chicken envelope for me at kookie jar!

Small Miracle said...

That is why i believe in small miracles n the joy them miracles bring to our life! : )

The Cloudcutter said...

Facebook does have some use after all...
Loved this post!

The knife said...

Thanks AGG so far the only really Cal thing I had was a pack of Mukhorochok dalmut. can't believe that I passed by a Flury's outlet. I remember packing the chicken evenvelop to take to Mumbai and once on a train ride to darj

ani_aset said...

Nice, so Fb gave you a nice moment of happiness there haan :)

Divya said...

I love discovering old photos of my parents or grandparents. It just seems like a whole new world back then... On facebook to boot? Nice :)

Anita :) said...

Old snaps sure bring about an air of nostalgia..of the good times..good people..and its surprising that facebook did it!

ramsub said...

facebook has its uses (big fan, not a big user) like everything else and its aww... moments as well.

Loved the tribute to your grandad, made me feel like I knew him and made me wish I knew him.

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