The old have what many youth today lack — grit and spirit!

I was hurrying one morning to the railway station to receive my octogenarian grandfather who was travelling from his native town, as I didn’t want to make him wait. But the train was on time and I had made him wait for at least five long minutes.

Half sky-diving I reached platform no.6. I could identify him seated afar with grey-hair, white dhoti, and smiling at me. Bless his eyesight.

He really couldn’t be that old, I thought to myself. I helped him with his shabby bag, but he would not give me what perhaps was a gift he had bought for my niece, his newborn kollu paethi (great granddaughter). How stubborn!

After the usual enquiries, we neared the end of the platform. I wondered and asked him if he could climb the foot-over bridge or if we should just cross, pointing to the many people who did. “I can climb the steps. I’m not that old,” he chuckled .

I smiled half-proud, half-embarrassed, with realisation, that his was a generation of people with attitude and spirit which many youngsters today can only claim to have.

The writer is an engineering graduate

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