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On November 28, 2018, my Nana, my maternal grandfather passed away. His name was Roshan Lal Sharma and my full name is Nikhil Roshan Sethi, so in a way, he was my namesake. When I was little, my family would tell me that I was just like him. We both loved staying at home and watching TV. Whenever we went to Indian restaurants, we would relish the richest Indian curries and scarf down every dessert option possible.

Like any good grandpa, Nana was a quirky guy. He was well known for spending hours in the grocery store inspecting every piece of produce he got. Whenever my family visited him, we knew that we would receive a bowl full of sliced fruit which was picked with the utmost care, accompanied by a perfect cup of chai. Every time there was a cricket match on, we knew that breaking his eyeline to the television set was a recipe for disaster and that we had to be prepared to hear screams of joy or rage at any moment. His fervor for cricket was unmatched and our family would go out of their way to watch matches with him, just to experience his energy.

One of my fondest memories was a day that he was watching over me when I was young. My family was away somewhere or another, and I was doing my go-to activity, watching a VHS of Tom and Jerry that I had seen over a hundred times (it was still great). I was hungry, so Nana made me my favorite snack: chai with Parle G biscuits. Even though I couldn’t have been older than 5 years old, I distinctly remember him opening an extra package of biscuits for me, something that my mom (rightfully) would never let me have.

I always knew he loved me and the rest of the grandkids dearly. It was impossible to enter his home without a long strong hug. It felt like every time I saw him, he would hug me a little tighter. I remember the feeling clearly, and I hope it’s something I never forget. My poor Hindi meant that we never got to talk much, but that never seemed to be an issue in our relationship. Our family would sit together and talk about this or that, and I would always just enjoy sitting in the room, picking up the bits and pieces of conversation that I could. At the end of every visit, I would find a $20 bill slipped into my pocket, regardless of my protests. If I think about it, visiting my grandparents is probably the most financially effective and rewarding job I’ll ever have. 

Nearly two months later, it’s hard to accept the fact that he’s gone. I miss him so much. I’ve found myself emulating him more than ever before. I wear the clothes I inherited from him regularly, I scream at the television set with my whole heart during every sports game, and I try to let myself show my emotions to those who matter. It feels like in this way, I can keep his memory and his impact alive every day. I love you, Nana. Rest in Peace. 

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Nikhil · 325327 Georgia Tech Station · Atlanta, GA 30332 · USA

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