Mission Obama: In memory of my grandfather

July 6, 2012

My grandfather's '100 Not Out'
cricket themed cake
Not many people can say they have a grandfather who's a 100 years old (and counting!) Even fewer can say that their 100 year old grandfather goes in to work every day, talks to clients, and refuses to retire, because he'd be, and I quote him, bored at home. He's a definite personality, and he makes sure our lives are anything but boring! Last month, his US visa got approved. He planned to tour through the US, stopping at various relatives' places before going on to meet Obama. He was very decisive on that agenda item: he wanted to meet Obama.

He'd tell anyone who cared to listen that he'd met Gandhi and Bradman, and now it was time to add Obama to the list. I'm not sure what my grandfather wanted to tell the president, no doubt he had some interesting insights on US politics over the last century. It became a standing joke in my family - everyone knew the US agenda included a visit to the White House, and none of us had any doubts that he'd make sure it happened. He was that kind of man.

My grandparents
at the Eiffel Tower
Unfortunately, my grandfather was suddenly hospitalized last week, and I just heard that he passed away this morning. I've been in shock ever since - how does someone live to be a 100, and still have things left to tick off their to-do list? My grandfather lived a long, happy life, but he still had some living to do. You've no idea how much that thought hounds me.

I wish I'd found a flight that could get me to India in time for his funeral. I can't control that, but I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that meeting with Obama happens, in his honor. I've no doubt he'd have charmed his way into the White House without too much trouble (the universe has a funny way of ensuring that 100 year olds get whatever they want!) I can only hope I inherited some of his persuasiveness and tenacy, and that I can work my way in.

I'd greatly appreciate your taking the time to share this with everyone you know, because you never know if they know someone who can help me with this. It may take me a whole lot longer than it'd have taken him, but this is something I'm going to do, no matter how long it takes. I'm reachable at c.akshaya.n@gmail.com. Please spread the word.
My grandfather, at office,
last month


  1. Hope your grandpa rests in peace Akshaya. I'll pass the word around with a couple of people in the States who work closely with the government. I'm sure your mission will be successful soon enough.

  2. Thanks for your message, and for offering to spread the word around. It means a lot :) I just read your blog and left a comment there as well, I love some of the stuff you're working with!