My Role Model

       I often hear in news about female foeticide and abandoning of the new born baby if it turns out to be a girl! There still are many places in India where this act happens but thankfully I live in a slightly developed town where these things occur less. Even so, I have been told that when I was born, there was certain disappointment among some people; they were expecting a boy, who would take ahead the glory of family to new heights. As if a girl couldn't do it!

      And there even were some people who pitied and blamed my maternal grandfather for his luck! He had 4 daughters and no son and I have heard my mom telling me stories of her childhood; how they were bullied by their cousins and how people would look down on him and pity him. Some even said that he might have committed some sin in his previous birth for which he was being punished now! Nonsense!! But he never paid heed to them; not then and certainly not now! He was happy and indeed counted us as blessings.

       I was his first and only granddaughter, the rest being grandsons; so I obviously was pampered a lot. I remember awaiting summer holidays so that I could visit him. He has inspired me in several ways ever since then. He is a man of divine patience and he believes in finding good in everything and everyone. He had a provision store until few years back and that was pretty famous in the whole town. He is respected by everyone and I feel proud saying I am his granddaughter. From narrating stories to me amidst his busy schedule to teaching me coping up with different situations, he did it all.

       I clearly remember an incident from my childhood. When I had been to Bhadravati (his place), I badly wanted to buy a sweet from the shop in front of our home. But I was sure that would earn me a little lecture about how that shop is not good and how he would get me something good later! No, I didn't want something good but I wanted the same thing I was eyeing, the white sweet which promised delight! So I slowly sneaked into my grandpa’s shop and took a rupee from the cash counter slowly. Right then he turned! I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw his eyes narrowing; there were a lot of people and I was becoming red in face thinking of the scene that would continue. But within a fraction of second, the smile returned and I was let go. I had rejoiced that I was successful in fooling him but I was wrong. Later that night I was chided for stealth. He had seen it but he had let me go for he didn't want to put me to shame in front of everyone.

       That day I had learnt the biggest lesson of my life – "If you are praising someone, then do it in front of everyone and if you have to scold someone, make sure you do it alone!" I have seen so many people shouting at others but my grandpa was a man of patience. And more over, just a disapproving from him look was enough to make you realize your mistake; there was no need for him to raise his voice. Whenever I visited him, I used to sit in his shop all the time, so I got a pretty good chance of knowing him. People used to call him ‘Anna’ (meaning brother) fondly. They loved talking to him and he always used to give chocolates to their kids. Oh they adored him!  I had seen him giving away goods to some people on credits and when I voiced my thoughts about how it’s a bad idea, he had said “Trusting is my choice. Proving me right or wrong is in their hands. Moreover, what goes around comes around. If you were meant to lose something, you will lose it anyhow”

       Now that all his daughters are married, he and my grandmother stay by themselves. I often see my mom worrying about it and I am worried too but he just brushes off any pleas of coming down to stay with us saying it isn't a big deal! Even at the age of 75, he gets up early at 4, does yoga, walks for 6 kms, completes daily chores at home and then runs his shop! Yes, he runs a steel shop on his own. He never sits idle; he says sitting idle is the only thing he hates! We even at this young age complain about work load being too much or days going bad but seeing him, I feel inspired. He always is enthusiastic when it comes to learning new things and never thinks twice before helping some one in need. 

       He was there for me all along; right from my first cycle to my first mobile, he was the one bought them for me and the one who shared my joys. Some people give you free advice for every problem of yours without even knowing half of the things but he is a man of knowledge and he practices what he preaches. Whenever I used to complain about the unfairness of life when something bad happened, he used to assure me everything had a purpose and good and bad are indeed two faces of a coin! So many of my life’s lessons I have learnt from him and I still continue to look up to him whenever I need guidance. He truly is a role model for me. His patience, his ease with which he handles things and the kindness are something which I wish I can learn.

       I so wanted to take a selfie for this activity but couldn't as we live in different places! Still I didn't want to miss adding his photo here.

My lovely grandfather - Sheshgiri Bhat
PS: I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

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