March 6, 2007 > A Thoughtful Letter to God
A Thoughtful Letter to God
Good morning! We've been waiting so long to talk to you. You see, we found out that our grandfather has come to meet you. We are very sad indeed that he has left behind our family and people, but make sure he thrives with you safely, kindly, and peacefully! We, my sister and I, want to thank you for all that you have done. My grandfather was a great man; surely a one of a kind. You don't bump into people like him everyday. We felt very miserable when our mother cried on the phone the other day to grandmother. Why do you make others heartbroken but taking their loved ones away? You know, our whole family would have shed tears for months. Most of us were dependent on our grandfather...but now, he's gone! We would like to explain to you who he was. That's because when he comes to meet you, you will know who he is and be prepared to meet this honored man of Srirangam!
Have you looked over the word "grandfather" before? Have you seen that the word shows some grandness for this father of ours? Well, the word perfectly suits our "grand" father, Ramanujam. He was a polite and clever child born to Smt. Parvathi and Sri. Narayanan . He was always running around and enjoying his life as a little boy. He was taught to be a reverent and religious child. He grew up in a very respectful and sacred community in the town of Srirangam which is located in the city of Trichy in Tamilnadu, India. As he grew up, he learned about the Gods (temples) there, and all the rituals performed. Though he had a huge interest in it, he passed his career life through engineering. He was so tall and majestic that he sometimes reminded us of Johnny Appleseed himself. Our grandfather spent his childhood by going to the public school, running through the burning streets with his friends barefoot, acting like he's studying when his father was looking, having a secret interest in photography, and sharing his time in the Great Lord Ranganathar Temple.
He had a desirable personality; a type of attitude everyone looks forward to having. He began serving his appealing wife Seethalakshmi at a young age. Soon, she gave birth to four children: Uma, Ramesh, Bhaskar, and Bama. Our grandfather was a very dedicated dad. He showed his children, all four of them, the right path for life. Even though he got furious very often, he was lovable and cherished his kids very much! He was a strict father of course, but he was very much fond of our mother since she was the youngest one. He began working hard everyday at work. Every single drop of sweat that fell from his body was like his blood. He was shedding his blood to keep up his family and his prestige. Prestige was very important to him. It was like the soul of his family. He was a great father, husband, engineer, volunteer, and a dedicated helper! It's like this, his hand is always out there to the person who is in need of his love.
As his children grew up one by one, he began working even harder. He was very bold and didn't get worried about anything. He prayed to the God everyday and set out to do his work with determination. He did not only earn for his own family. He donated a lot of money to the poor people and poverty. He gave money to the illiterate poor children so that they can study like how his children did too. He treated everyone from every caste equally.
He helped families with money when it came to poor family marriages. He has conducted and paid for many marriages in the town. He even volunteered to give a hand for the funerals even though they weren't even known to his family. He felt that the community was very important. He loved the people very much and most of the people in town knew him and spoke of him in a nice manner. He also serviced to the temples around and in town. He helped to construct the large temples and carried heavy floats during parades on his back with a few other people. He helped bring the temple idols into the shrine and he never collected any money for this hard service. His great works are too much to even count!
For example, once a young man came to our grandfather to get some financial help for his engineering studies. Our grandfather became very excited to help someone with the job that he worked for. He gave the young man a lot of money and told him some wise words like he usually does. In response, the man thanked our grandpa; he talked about himself and how he is having financial problems to study, and left the house with our grandpa's blessings. Today, he is a well-known engineer earning hundreds of dollars every day!
Our grandfather was a very decent man and respected everyone. He learned his mistakes from others but surely he did have his own flaws. He had too much pride in whatever did. You can call it somewhat like hubris. A man of many dreams and hopes was our grandfather for sure. He wanted to have and be able to do everything. He was like a little boy who wants all the cool toys in a store. He was very excited and filled with glee whenever he got whatever he wanted. He wanted to be disciplined and organized all the time!
So God, I stop here. I believe and do hope you've understood the true inner soul of my grandfather. Please don't tell him about this letter or else he'll get very angry with us for writing to God Himself, obviously You. He was a very lively man and all of the family and townspeople miss him very much here. You know, when we went with mom to the street market, the merchants began crying about how they miss him. (He used to help them a lot!) He was important and necessary for all our lives. We try our best to live up [to his standards] without him but surely it is a hard trip. We're sure that you will take fine care of our grandfather. He will help you with all he can. He was a strong and big man. A memorable one for sure. Do send us a sign of reply when he has met you. Please tell him that we all miss him here and we will pray for his good. His hard work has paid off on all of the family including us. If we are writing to you today, that's because of him. He is the one who told us that God is always watching over whatever we do. We believe that, we truly do. Our grandfather has not died; he is still with us, in all our souls. He just moved away to stay with you. We really do hope that he gets to enjoy the best of the best there. After all, he was our grandfather, an engineer, father, volunteer, a helping hand, teacher, and now my own God, Mr. Ramanujam!
Gayathri Ramanathan and Rajeswari Ramanathan