Sahir knew Uncle had a son in the States and two daughters, one in Mumbai and the other in Dubai. Aunty Carol had died a decade ago and since then Uncle Arnold lived all by himself. The children would visit in the holidays but apart from those annual visits, no one bothered with him. Sahir loved his Uncle Arnold and so he decided to look after him.
After a brief spell at the hospital, Uncle was brought home. Sahir would visit him regularly after school and in the evenings, after he had finished his homework. He cleaned the house for Uncle, watered the plants and ran errands for him. He read to him from the many books Uncle had in the library room or from the daily newspaper. Sahir’s mother sent food for him till he could move out on his own. On Sundays, Sahir would take Uncle to his house where they would play cards or carom. Sahir’s Dad would discuss current events with Uncle as they ate up Mum’s delicious luncheon.
Slowly but surely, Uncle improved in his health and was well once again. But his eyes never lost their sadness and Sahir knew why. Uncle was still waiting for his children and grandchildren to come and visit him. He would take out the family album often and look at their photographs, tears welling up in his eyes. Then he would sigh and go to his favorite rocking chair, close his eyes and dream of happier days. “How I wish I could tell them how much he misses them!” thought little Sahir. “Why do adults not care for their parents anymore? I will never leave my Mum and Dad alone like this. They will become sad, just like my Uncle Arnold.”
The little boy hugged Uncle Arnold and said to him, “I love you Uncle. I miss my grandfather so much and you remind me a lot of him. BE MY GRANDPA, PLEASE!” The old man returned the hug with tears in his eyes and replied, “You really do love me a lot, don’t you, little Sahir? Yes, dear one, I will be your grandpa. Thank you for choosing me. You have made me very, very happy indeed.”