When we were kids , a week before Christmas we would go carol singing and people welcomed us into their homes. The kids danced and grandpas and grandmas blessed us . We would wait to be selected in the Church choir too and were thrilled when Mrs Rose would call out our names .
Every year my grandpa would send me a letter ,a month in advance, to coax me to join the choir . Infact, the last song that he taught me was an old Konkani number about Christmas …Ugdaas yeta maka Natalachi ratricho , which means ‘ I remember a special Christmas night ‘ .
He was 84 and promised me he would write the lyrics of all those numbers I loved in a note book and give it to me as a gift . I returned home in the last week of December knowing well that he would keep his promise .
Two weeks later , my grandpa passed away in his sleep and as we bid him farewell , in his corner of the table , I found my best and most treasured Christmas present – a notebook with all those wonderful songs handwritten.
I haven’t sung in the choir this year and am sure he’d not be pleased with that , but I learnt the song that he taught me half way and as I sang it last night, I knew Papa would be proud .
You were , are and always will be my hero.
— that mishmash whom you called bai .