Saturday, 7 June 2014

My #RoleModel - My GrandFather : There's so much to be inspired

"My grandfather - ideal example for the generations to come"
My grandfather and his great grandchild

"Naa kabhi kisi se bribe liya, na kabhi kisi ko bribe diya" - the words from my grandfather that make me ever so strong to always opt for the right path in life. The context to which he replied this answer was when I asked him "did you ever take bribe in your life, being a civil engineer", to which he replied the above. I was pleasantly shocked to note that for a civil engineer and that too with 4 sons, he never opted for any wrong means to earn money. The temptations to earn money through wrong means could have so easily been there but it's either that or a life of values. One can understand the kind of obstacles that the 'bread-earner' of a family would've had to go through, having raised 4 sons and in a quality environment at that.

My grandfather never gave money the first priority, for him - it's been always his family and what they think of him. For someone who left his house at the age of 19, coming from Bihar to this metro city of New Delhi, in search of a job is in itself an impeccably strong move and at that - having the courage to start a whole new life in the city all by himself must be commended.

My grandfather, Mr.Rajendra Jha, could manage the hard situations with so much ease because he always understood how life works. "The bad phases come your way and they go, you just keep self belief in tact and there can NEVER be any situation where you'll let down yourself or your family" - I know this thinking of my grandfather because he instilled similar characteristics to my father, who has instilled the same to me. The head of the family not just sets an example for the next generation but for the generation that follow next too and that's why my grandfather is my greatest #RoleModel. 

My father tells me that my grandfather was very close to his mother - she would take care of her son like anything, whenever he (my grandfather) would go to his village to meet his parents, my great grandmother always insured that there was not one single favorite dish of his that was missed out, specially the Mangoes. In fact, my father says - my great grandmother had his son as the priority over HIS children (her grandchildren, my father and his 3 brothers), even though usually it's the other way around but this is just on the lighter note. :)

The tough days - Being an honest civil engineer, my grandfather had many tough days at the office. 3 times in his life, he was in fact threatened of life by local workers to leave the job and this was because my grandfather had 'good work' as priority and valued time management of his and others but certain workers didn't like this nor was the honest attitude towards work of my grandfather was liked by these workers and thereby, it was all the more tougher for my grandfather to stick to his 'values' BUT he never had 2nd thoughts about this - values always came first.

These values continue to this very date and to point out an example - when my uncle was getting married he asked his office for a 3-day leave for his marriage. But to his utter surprise, he was told that he will not be given a 3 day leave. My uncle came home and told this to my grandfather. Next day, my grandfather went to my uncle's office and talked to his boss - the boss was unmoved, he persisted with his ridiculous decision of not granting the 3 day leave to my uncle. My grandfather told my uncle "hand over your resignation immediately, you'll never work in a company which doesn't has human values" - and there you have it, the core strong values of my grandfather has always insured that our family lives with our heads high in proud and never gutted down in shame. :)

Struggle is a part of success - As I mentioned earlier in the article, to gain success in his life - my grandfather had to work immensely hard. In his early days in Delhi, he used to go to office in a simple shirt and a pant, of which he only had 1 pair. Each night he would come back home and wash the shirt and the pant and wear them the next day. Not just that, after a tiring day at work - he would sleep on the very dinning table where he ate and in dinner, he had 'spiced up chanas' - which we eat in snack, that's how tough a phase he was going through but he never lost hope. 

My grandmother belonged from a very rich-off family and was getting married to my grandfather who was son of a middle-class farmer but someone who had great respect in his village and all the villages nearby ,which was why my grandfather was selected as the "right man" for my grandmother. It's important to mention here that if there's been one person that has helped my grandfather as the perfect companion in his life - it's truly my grandmother, to whom the title 'better half' so perfectly suits. Sure the obstacles have come their way but they have TOGETHER fought through every obstacle.

Raising 4 children : Bluntly honest, dedicated to work, not willing to accept bribes/black money, quality of work prevails above all - a few characteristics of my grandfather. Adding to this, is the perfection with which my grandfather worked. My father along with his brothers went to the sight where my grandfather was working and observed their father closely. My father tells me that one wall of the building was slightly tilted and to rebuilt it again would've demanded a lot of time and effort but my grandfather told his junior - "break this whole wall down, we need quality work" - it's not the work that my grandfather did, it's the dedication with which he did it. 

All my grandfather's office colleagues still like to stay in touch with him because that's how charismatic his personality was. After a hard day at the work, he'd still be willing to call his office friends at home and discuss more about work  - a workaholic to some extend but does that mean that he didn't give much time to his family! Absolutely NO. On every Saturday night and Sunday - as my father tells me, my grandfather took all his 4 sons and my grandmother to a movie on every Sunday morning, which was followed by lunch and then sweetdish. After coming back home, he also prepared "non-veg" for the whole family and enjoyed the Sunday talking and spending quality time with his family - truly a family's man. :)

Raising 4 childrens is not easy and jeez you can ask my grandparents about this - fights, making up, fighting again and making up again - the nuisance was endless but so has been the love for all these years - credit of which goes to my grandparents truly.

A father has the tough job of ensuring that his family is provided with a quality surroundings to live in, his children have access to quality education and along with hectic job, he has to also make time for his family - my father and my uncles have always had immense respect for their father because they cherish the life that he's led, they all want to be like him because he's been the 'ideal man' - a man that has had an illustrated life and has set 'great examples' for the coming generations.

With positive thinking, comes positive lighting in life : My grandfather has always been the motivator that his children need or for that matter, his grandchildren need. My grandfather's thinking has been this - when my uncle failed in his 10th class, my grandfather still brought sweets home and was natural - just like how he used to be when my uncle passed. My uncle curiously asked why he had brought sweets even though he had failed and my grandfather's theory was relatively simple - "passing and failing is part of life" and even when any of his sons stood first in class or got good marks - he had a similar attitude.

My grandfather knows what it is to be successful and what it is to be struggling  - he doesn't differentiate between the two but in fact appreciates that hardships are the way to success and that's why it was 'easier' for him to overcome the obstacles that he had to face in his life.

The motivating force of the family, at the age of 78 : My grandfather turned 78 this February. He's still handsome, , he's still supportive and motivating, one of the most interesting people I know whom I can talk to about, on wide array of topics and of course then there's his sense of humor which is impeccable. 

I've seen the strong side of my grandfather, more so in the last few years that have passed by. In 2010, he had a major heart operation which meant that he had to be on a complete bed-rest for 4-6 months. During this time, I saw the 'heroic' side of my grandfather. It's important to mention here that my grandfather has been somewhat a movie buff and that's why he has named his sons after starts of bollywood (starting from the eldest to youngest) - Ashok, Kishore, Anoop and Manoj.

I mention my grandfather's love for movies at this point of the article because during the time of recovery, my grandfather was no short of a hero. At the age of 75, your body doesn't support you as much as you'd want it to and that's for everyone to understand. But, my grandfather took all the medicines, did exercises as advised by doctors and got recovered in 4 months - as good as before and as evergreen as ever, that's my grandpa - Babuji as I call him.

During his time at the hospital he was so weak that when my father used to visit him - he used to signal him towards the 'frootie'. Even though the other 3 brothers had told my father to not give him frooties, my father could not see my grandfather that way. Every day during his visiting time, my father used to give my grandpa 2-3 frooties to enjoy and relax and when my father asked the doctor about whether he's allowed frootie, he replied that it's fine if he has a few frooties till he's exercising and taking the medicines. This is the most befitting example of the love between a father and his son - I just felt that it was important to mention this incident here. :)

When I say my grandfather is independent, I perhaps don't back it up properly to make you understand my point better. To illustrate, in May of 2014 (last month), my elder brother got married. When my grandfather was climbing down the stairs from the stage, 2 of my cousins and I tried helping my grandfather, we tried to hold his arm but he suggested us not to - my grandfather wanted to climb down the stairs without anyone's help - independent and strong at 78. This I believe is the most ideal point to end this article because this is why I feel that my grandfather is so special. He's one of a unique, a true 'heera', someone who I look upto and want to be like.

The post is dedicated to my grandfather who is truly my #RoleModel.

I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with

Aditya Jha Author

Aditya Jha is 20 years old and has had a passion for writing since a young age. He has had the great honor of being published in the book "blank space", which featured his fictional short story "a writer's tale". He has also published 2 ebooks - Best.Generation.Ever. and An Iron Lady (Autobiography on his grandmother's life). He has great passion for speaking and is a Delhi University Debator - having won various laurels for his speaking.


  1. The head of the family not just sets an example for the next generation but for the generation that follow next too and that's why my grandfather is my greatest , exactly.

    1. Thanks Yogi, I'm glad you agree with the above. :)

  2. That's a beautiful article, I really like a few statements here - Struggle as a part of success, positive thinking to positive lighting - the attitude says it all :).. And the first few lines remind me of the initial bits of the book Simply Fly by capt Gopinath :).. Nice one mate, wishing you the very best for the competition, this sure is a very good entry :)

    1. Thank you, Vinay! It means a lot to me to know that my reader has liked the piece that I've written. Each word I've written is from my heart - and is very true to the character of my grandfather.

      I haven't read the book by Capt Gopinath but it means a lot to me that you have compared this piece to the book - which I sure am planning to read now. :)

      Thanks mate for your wishes. :) As a writer, it's immensely satisfying for me to get such positive response from a reader, I thank you for taking out the time and reading the article. :)

  3. A very beautiful article. :) I really admired the way how you have written in detail about the subtle morals and values that your Grandfather lives by. I hope he reads this article and and am sure he will be overwhelmed by it. :)
    Keep writing mate!

    1. Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked the article. Thanks for taking out the time and reading it. Cheers! :)

  4. Nicely expressed, Aditya. We have a lot to learn from our grand-parents. Best wishes :)

    1. Thank you Anita for your precious comment :)