Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sage Advice

My uncle - Jethu, as Bengalis call their father's elder brother - used to be a constant source of stories and advice. He had a huge stock of both. Many of the stories that I have narrated in this blog are from him.

One day, shortly before his death, when I went to him room - he was staying with my cousin in Jamshedpur - he appeared to be sleeping. I think he 80+ at that time. He spent most of his time sleeping. He had not been well for some time.
I sat next to him and he opened his eyes, looked at me and smiled.
I asked him, "What are you thinking, Jethu?"
He replied, "What can think tell me, baba? We old people do not have any future. We have only past. I am thinking of the past."
I do not think I have heard of anything more depressing in my whole life.

Anyways, coming to more cheerful memories.
His favourite - whenever I was in a dilemma to ask someone about something - was, "Go ahead and ask. He won't kill you, right?"
This was his version of "What is the worst that can happen?"
A very valuable advice, if you ask me.
Remember to be polite though.

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