Immortal Desires

The wind blew and whisked away a bunch of leaves. A light whistle was heard in the background indicating a drunk pedestrian on the nearby road. I shivered in the cold and opened the rusty door to the ancient store room at my nani’s (grandmother) house. My mind travelled back in time. My nana (grandfather) had passed away a couple of days back. The whole family was in a state of shock. He went away too soon, but left us with ample memories to cherish for the rest of our lives. Of course the void couldn’t be filled by anyone in the family. He had a habit of writing journals. Each day, each page was updated with fresh new experiences of life.
I was jolted back into the reality by a distant voice of my brother shouting. So I looked around and hunted for the diaries. I expected to find fifteen such diaries of the fifteen golden years of his life. I removed a thick layer of dust from an old wooden almirah that looked like an antique. It resembled an old royal chest. I lifted the lid and found the treasured diaries placed in neat stacks inside it. I was apprehensive about reading those diaries first, but the urge to know him better overpowered that thought. So I quietly took all the diaries and climbed up to the first floor. I sat in the corner of the room which was seldom used. The whole room was populated with cob webs.
With trembling hands I opened the first page of the first diary, it read 1995. My nana was an English literature student with an eye for brilliant Hindi shayari. Hence I was hoping for an inspiring read. Pages after pages I read, from one diary to another and time slipped by. I was transported back to the time he was alive.
He was a handsome man working for the Indian Police. He had a million dollar smile that made many hearts melt. He spoke humbly and loved everyone around him. He was a passionate reader of both English as well as Hindi books. Always had a view on everything that was happening around the globe and shared his knowledge with anyone who was ears. He loved to sit in the garden as it brought him closer to nature in the middle of the city. Gardening was one of his hobbies. My nani was inseparable from him and we treasured our old man. Everything was ornate except the fact that he was diagnosed with a chronic disease called Plastic Anemia for the past 17 years. Some poison was slipped in his drink many years back at an official party and from there began his second life that was labored every minute. His pain was immense and we saw him suffer each day for these 17 years.  
A tear escaped my eye and I brought my mind to the present. I finished reading all the diaries with patience and encountered between these pages, the most amazing lines I have ever read. His writing was phenomenal but lost in the pages of some unidentified diaries.
After going through the diaries I learned the greatest lesson of my life which I am happy to share with you. Only one thing was prominent in the diaries and that is- “desires are Immortal”. A person’s heart never ages and continues to be young till the time he is on his deathbed. The desires you had when you were 16 and the desires you will have when you turn 70 are quite similar. We overlook the old people’s desires and categorize them as unnecessary but I think it is cruel and a kind of injustice to the people who gave all their life providing you the best of everything.
I peeped inside such a soul and felt an excruciating pain that he suffered through his writing. Don’t you want to look good? Don’t you want the best of dresses? Don’t you want the best of comfort and amenities? Guess what, they also desire all these things, the only difference is that they remain silent and never let you know.
Do you achieve all your desires? Yes
Do you even think of giving the same things to them? No

No matter how wrinkled and tired they look now, their heart is still young and has countless desires which are unsaid. When these people look in the mirror, all they see is an old image of them staring back. If you don’t want to look bad then neither do they. They feel like going to the parties you attend but their physical state kills that desire. But small things make them happy, cook them their favorite dinner, buy them a new dress and tell them about you, your life. Once in a while take them out. Treat them like your friends, they love it! Aging is difficult, so support them.
I lost my nana ji before I could really understand him and provide him with all the happiness he deserved. My family couldn’t fulfill all his desires as he kept them a secret. We never got to know what was going inside that mind. But I know that now.  No matter what age a person has reached just remember one thing, his desires are the same as yours. Don’t assume that their tastes and wishes have changed because amusingly they haven’t.
If you are lucky enough to have that ‘special someone’ around you then make their second innings of life the best time of their life. They have done enough for you, it’s time you pay back. Trust me there is no greater feeling than bringing a smile to your old man or woman’s face and see them bless you with all their heart!

I leave with my favorite quote-

The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.


33 thoughts on “Immortal Desires

  1. thank you for the follow as it led me to your blog.. touching and please accept my condolences on the loss of your Nani… blessings to you and yours along the journey of desire, wishes and dreams fulfilled…

    • hi Sherry
      thank you so much for the wishes and your appreciation.Nice words from bloggers really cheer me up!
      Also my nana passed away. My nani is still alive 🙂


  2. Loved your post & let me offer my condolences for losing someone who meant so much to you…I have never had a chance to meet my paternal grandpa but have been lucky to have met a great person like my maternal grandpa.He’s nearly 80 now & still young at heart..He still writes, still attends seminars & functions on science no matter how far they are organized..& he still keeps in touch with us, calling every other day…
    Thanks to your post I’ve come to realize things which i had earlier disregarded…a heart touching post…

    • hi Rinaya
      thank you.
      I am happy to hear that you are close to your grandpa. I don’t have mine around so i know the loss. Keep him close to you and give lots of love to him from my side too. 🙂
      and thank you once again for your kind words!


    • Hello
      I am so glad that you could relate to it. Proves i am doing an OK job at writing now.
      Thank you so much for visiting my blog. it’s great to see some Indians reading my blog too.
      Thank you for posting my work on your blog too!!

  3. Totally agree…..An ear to what they want to say,even though it might be the repetition of same events and giving small thoughts to their simple desires.Aging is a physical phenomena but desires never age.
    very nicely brought out ,Tanushree.

    • hi Namita ji
      I know, my nana also kept forgetting things and told me the same stories repeatedly. But that was fun!
      Where else could you find such innocent words filled with wisdom?

  4. So touching and beautiful. I LOVE the Oscar Wilde quote as well and that photo at the end is one I’ve seen before … and I absolutely love it. My mom brought us up with her feel about age. She would say all the time, “Age is just a state of mind!” She honestly believes this and, the way she lives proves it out. Because of this, I feel I have come to live this way. I had a very close relationship with my maternal grandmother and in her last years, I took the opportunity to really get to know her and I’m so glad I did. When she left us, I felt so happy that I was able to have that time with her. This was such an amazing post. I really love your blog and look forward to keeping up with your posts. 😀

    • hi!
      I am so glad that you shared a part of life with me. I know how we cherish the time we spend with the old people. There is an innocence in every word they say!
      I love that they give unconditionally and love you like no one can. I hope your mum has a long long life and her spirit never dies!
      thank you for appreciating my work!


  5. An excellent take on the ageing of peoples and what is in their heart and head. I once spent some time with a man who was loved in his community and still active. His body was stiffening and he would often make a joke at his own expense. “The problem is, Alan,” he said, ” my body is 82 but my mind is 25.” It sounds like your grandfather was such a man. I hope he remains an inspiration to you.

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