Sunday, May 18, 2008


The following was written almost 15 years ago....

A pale old fellow with a billion wrinkles, a walking stick, thick black rimmed glasses that don’t seem to do anything, a dress sense that only makes sense to the wearer himself and of course the frail body that doesn’t seem to belong in this world anymore. That may seem like a perfect example of a grand father but my grand pa is different.

He is a jolly fellow who is always looking for an adventure and has trouble staying at one stop. He is always ready to put up a good debate and likes to talk to anyone who doesn’t agree with him. He somehow manages to find amusement in some of life’s hardest obstacles and manages to keep a grin on his face even after everyone else has given up. Even when his blood pressure reached 240 he somehow decided that a trip exploring the inner suburbs of Sydney would do him good!

He says that he is like a free bird now. In many ways I agree with him. He was a bird that had been locked away in the iron cage of all work and no play since the tender age of 12.

Vijaya Raghavan, a journalist, accountant, financial controller, champion chess player and much more, is now a retired citizen of Australia.

Vijaya Raghavan was a mother’s pet. His father was an astrologer and was a very orthodox fellow. V.R was born elder to six girls and 1 more boy. A total of seven siblings!

Being the eldest and being the eldest boy in the family meant that he was required to assist in the family income. For this reason alone, he started to look for a job and obtained one of book keeping. All the money (which wasn’t much as he was still a student), made through this job went into the helping of the family.

Paying for just one girls’ marriage in India is seen as a great economic struggle. Paying for six girls’ was almost unbelievable. Raghavan was required to help in paying for all his sister’s weddings and dowry’s. Because V.R’s father was hardly ever at home, the helping of his mum in day-to-day work and also in making important decisions on the family lay on his shoulders.

Finishing school, which was one place V.R hated (as his father was a miser and would not pay for the necessary stationary or books), was seen as a great accomplishment.

V.R’s life as a journalist, which India was in great need of at that time, started soon after his completion of school.

Marriage. This is seen a huge step for most if not all, of us. However, marriage in V.R’s life was even a greater step, as he now had to look after two families instead of one. It was also at this point that he moved out of home with his newly married bride to a whole new state.

In this new state known as Bangalore, my grand pa fought for a rather small book stall which was dually his as his former employer gave it to him. This hard-earned bookstall still stands today under my grandmother’s name.

With the money he made from the stall and other early morning, afternoon and other spare time work, he managed to bring both his sons (one of which is my dad) in a very successful manner.

My dad now looks after my grand pa as a way of repaying what he had given up in his life to bring my dad up.

Had it not been for my grandpa’s handwork, dedication to his work and family, and above all his high ambitions and willingness to stretch his limits to the max, I wouldn’t be standing where I am today.

A man of high spirits and extraordinary talents can now be seen sitting at the corner of his bedroom playing a gameboy an trying to beat his grandson’s score.


We all miss you very much...

Madras Srinivasa Raghavachari Vijaya Raghavan

27th September, 1932 - 17th May, 2008