Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kings don't ride on horses anymore

One of the big influences in my life is my grandfather. He was born into a royal family in the British Raj days. The family continues the tradition of the oldest living member being revered as the "King"....well, technically. It is but a notional title of course. In my childhood, I had this notion in my mind, that the older you get, the more closer you are to being King. So, with every passing year, I would ask my grandfather - "When will you be King?". My grandfather would chuckle or smile but say nothing.

One day in the new millennium, my grandfather did become "King". He became the oldest member of the family and with muted fanfare was "crowned". I remembered the numerous occasions when I had asked him the question and now it had happened!! I was really excited as I traveled to meet my grandfather. When I met him, I realized that he was still very much the same. For one, he was still my grandfather. His humility was intact. His caring and loving attitude was intact. His fair and honest approach to life remained the same. I never saw him ruffled, not before, not after. His calm sense of purpose shone through. And I realized that what I admired him for were really these things - humility, fairness, compassion and a calm sense of purpose. This is what makes him the "King" and not just some notional title.

I realize now why he chuckled when I asked him the question - "When will you be King?". I realize now more than ever that he always was and will be "King". In my heart, he is my King. Kings don't ride horses anymore, but they shape other's lives. Thank you for showing the way and living by example...you have shaped my life in a big way!! Hope I live up to it and in case, I can't measure up to it, this will always remain my tribute to you!!


  1. He is indeed the grand old man of the family!

    As you rightly put it, true kings inspire people and the title comes second to that.However, I really wish the title had some powers. He might have wished for that too!

  2. I completely agree... I am always amazed by his fitness, his fairness, his independence, his strength... he is quite inspiring, truly!
    Nice one, Rakesh!