Monday, August 15, 2005
This was my paternal grandfather, Dr B K Nanjundeshwara. He was a very well known doctor in Madikeri. He was also a freedom fighter and was at the notorious Vellore and Yarawady jails for over two years before he married my granny, 19 years his junior.
His healing powers are something of a legend here. About two years ago, we had got a call from someone who begged for some medicines from him, this 20 years after his death! It was overwhelming!
He was a Communist leader, back in those days when Communism was not as distorted an ideology as it is today. He loved inviting hippies home, much to the chagrin of my granny. He was an atheist but read the Upanishads, J Krishnamurthy, apart from Tolstoy, Chekov, etc. He had built a veritable collection of books and I grew up reading them.
People say I have a lot of his qualities. He died of throat cancer just six months before I was born and I regret that a lot. I wanted to know him so badly. I not much of a believer in the theory of reincarnation but I like to think at least a part of him is in me.
His immense collection of books made me grow up with a love for literature, religion and philosophy. It gave me an open mind and I was exposed to two extreme political influences. In fact, I grew up with so much Russian books that I think of that place as my second country!