A giant has fallen, and a piece of the sky he used to hold up came crashing down. This giant walked the earth for almost a century. His path took him across oceans to new shores. He lived through horrendous wars, encountered endless struggles, persevered through turmoil and hardship. All this while, remaining upright, never compromising on his morals. Finally he found a place to call home. He built roads, houses, even schools, but didn’t quite succeed in building a loving family. Who could blame him? For he was unloved and unwanted in his youth. Giants were born during the time when the world was a cruel and terrifying place. Not many understood the concept of love or joy. Yet in spite of that, this giant tried to live a righteous life and helped to make the world a better place.
He did find love, but in his folly, squandered that away. Of nine children that he bore, only one boy was as loyal and righteous as he had been. His third son. No matter how insensitive and brash the giant was, this boy still loved his father with all his innocent heart. The boy grew up strong in spirit and became a moral man. The rest of the eight never learned to love the giant, even though he was their father. They grew up spineless and heartless, became corrupt and evil.
Decades passed, and the giant was now old. He had lost his strength and became weak. His glorious days were now gone. His ungrateful children began to steal from him, treated him unkindly and fervently plotted his death for they had hated the giant all their lives. The old giant helplessly watched on, unable to stand up for himself. His only protector now was his third son, who stayed by his side, single-handedly wielding a blunt sword, fending off those circling jackals.
The world was now a very different place, where good values like integrity and righteousness no longer were upheld and cherished. God looked down from heaven and decided to have mercy on the giant for even with all his flaws, the giant had done some good deeds in his younger years.
To the giant and his sole protector, God sent them three gifts. One was a panda, steadfast and loving, to keep the old giant company and bring him some forgotten joy by making him laugh. One was a big hawk, keenly watching over the giant and guarding him from predators and attackers. One was an intelligent white dog, so faithful and resourceful, helping the third son solve every problem in his quest to protect the giant.
In his old age, the giant finally knew what true love was. He learned to love and be loved. He saw through all hearts – those who were kind and those who were evil. He learned to laugh – heartily and frequently. He finally experienced gratitude and humility.
After a long life of crests and troughs, he had atoned for all his sins. When God saw that the giant had learned all of life’s lessons that He had intended for him, it was time to leave this world. “Dear God, thank you for your mercy and grace,” the giant said weakly. “All I ask is to bid farewell to my beloved son, the hawk who had diligently guarded me, the panda and the white dog who had loved me so unconditionally.” God agreed. On one rainy day morning, everyone gathered beside the giant as he looked at each of the faces he had come to love. And then, in a blink of an eye, he was gone, like a mist, leaving behind all who had loved him in tears.
Dedicated to my beloved grandfather, who left us on 5th November 2016. Without you, I would not be where I am. Without your love, my world is now colder. And now in this colder world, writing is the one thing that gives me strength. You will forever be in my heart and my prayers. I miss you every day.