The Sins of the Father The Gifts of the SonMy great-grandfather was sentenced to a life of lengthy legal battles because his junky brother had been stealing gold from him. Since he was a goldsmith for the royal palace the gold being stolen belonged to the most powerful people in the country. And since my great grandfather was not an educated man he had not even kept accounts or a log on the amount of gold stored away or anything even close to that. His fortunes began to plummet and they would continue to do so from here on to his death. The one sensible thing he did though was send away my grandfather to India so he could have what my great grandfather didnít, and what could have saved him, an education.
Back in those days, in Nepal, most people had an average of 7 to 10 children Iíve heard. My great grandfather never had the chance to sire so many. I canít even imagine what my grandfather must have felt being the only one responsible to further the family name, of the Shakyas. With what past behind him, a family tattered through greed and gluttony, and him alone without a home. But this is not for melodrama, this is to make a point.
Because of my great grandfatherís one choice, to give my grandfather an education rather than have him work in order to help provide for the hefty legal bills that they amassed from fighting the state, my grandfather became a man of knowledge who never let anyone ever fool him. I remember watching him as a child writing down the expenses for the house. He had 5 sons who were all independent with families of their own, but he did the taxes for each and every one of them. I imagine he must have felt such joy to have sired all sons not because of any misogynistic feeling but perhaps pride at having achieved 5 times what his father did. And he achieved much more than that all through a chance at education. I remember countless times my father regaled me with tales of my grandfatherís exploits, and I will share them all when I have the courage to write them down. But all that you need to know is- His sons are all educated men, and each and every one of them lead comfortable lives and so do their children. Here one of them is writing this from his college in America.
The Shakyas have come a long way from all that transpired a few generations ago and I canít help but muse upon how great a butterfly effect that choice has caused. What if he had chosen not to send my grandfather to India to study? Would I ever have been born? Would my father? I think about this a lot these days. I wonder if he ever does too. I wonder if he thinks about his father and what he thinks about him. I should ask him that someday.
Poetry by Sameen
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Written on 2017-11-06 at 17:05
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