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Listening to the radio was not just routine for my grandfather. It was his radio that made him feel alive.The radio
would be up and running at 5 am everyday. It was my grandfather’s little way of letting the house know that the
The only time the radio ever interested us, was when it was either too sunny or rainy to go out and play. We
enjoyed twisting and turning all the knobs and switches, this way and that and then laughing our guts out,
seeing our poor grandfather struggling to revive it.
If I were to close my eyes now, to imagine my grandfather, I can picture him seated on his brown chair, his shiny
bald head tilted devotedly towards the radio, face impassive. Like a priest in a confessional, like lovers sharing
My grandfather began loosing his sight when he turned 70. It was a slow process. An inch of darkness, budging in
with every passing year. He used to be a very strong, very active man and it worried him immensely.
He grew all the more dependent on his radio. Like a pain balm promising some temporary relief.
It happened one afternoon.
smell it, taste it.
My grandfather refused to accept that his beloved radio was gone. Every day he would take the radio in his hand
and prod and cajole it to talk back to him. Even the faintest sound from it would excite him.
Once when I called home to chat with him, he asked me if I could get him a pocket radio. Only if it wasn’t too
much of a trouble, he said. I said I will. The week went by in a blur. It was only on the day before I left for home that
I remembered about the radio. I rushed to the first electronic shop I saw and chose the only model available with them, with a ‘Made in
A month later, I heard from my mother that the pocket radio never worked at all.
He still, never lost hope that he would one day bring back his old friend. He kept trying and he even left the switch
on all the time. Just in case, life struck at the oddest of moments.
My grandfather breathed his last during his sleep on a Sunday after Easter. He was long gone by the time the doctor arrived.
The house was teeming with people the next day. People going in and people going out and, a hundred things to do
before the funeral. We were in his room cleaning up, when we heard it.
But to me it did, to me it meant a whole lot.
Just then my uncle came into the room and pulled out the plug…