June 10, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay: Afterlight- In Memory of Thatha by Shreya Iyengar

2 min read

In this personal essay, Shreya Iyengar talks about the loss of her grandfather and the memories he left behind in her heart to stay on forever.

Thursday, 23rd February 2023

It dawned like any other day, the just-risen sun shining a weak light through my window. I woke up to my usual 6 am alarm, my mind already buzzing with the to-dos of the full workday that lay ahead. Students’ upcoming final exams: last-minute notebook corrections to do; revision material to discuss in class; answer scripts to check within two weeks of receiving them. 

The previous evening, I’d laid out a crisp blue cotton sari to wear to work. Freshly showered, I was in the process of doing up my sari pleats when I heard the news that would forever change all our lives. 

My Thatha was the kind of person who could befriend a stone – such was his charisma, generosity, and largeness of heart. Over the years that I had the blessing of knowing him, he regaled me with countless stories – of his own childhood, of his dreams and hopes, of tales from the Panchatantra, Amar Chitra Katha, and more. Of all the hats that he wore effortlessly – father, husband, grandfather, uncle, marketing professional, thespian, neighbour, important member of the Nightingales Elders’ Enrichment Centre – storyteller was perhaps the most remarkable. He had an enviable, wonderful knack for spinning memorable yarns out of the banalest incidents. 

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