If you were born around the time I was, or earlier. somewhere in the middle of the last century, 'My Grandfather's Clock' would have been a favourite song. It certainly was mine, not only because I love the tune and the lyrics, but mainly because it reminded me so much of my own wonderful grandfather, who was a man for all seasons. He was a metallurgist in the Railways, a man of science who was very inclined to the Arts. He could quote from any source - The Bible, the Gita and the classic poems. I remember how patiently he taught me to recite 'Lady Clare' when I was very young. It was always fun to go through a book that he had read, because he would write his own, often irreverent comments, on the pages, which would leave us in gales of laughter, his squiggly calligraphy having added more value to the page than not!
I remember going with the family to watch the classic 'Sound of Music', a movie which thrilled us all to the gills, as we sat awestruck till the last glorious note died down. After the movie got over, and we got up reluctantly to leave, still under the spell, we cast a glance at Grandpa. "So, what did you think?" I asked him. "Well, a nice movie!" he replied. "Only it had too many songs!" I almost swooned in disbelief!
His hobbies were myriad. He loved gardening and being out in the balmy air. He had this really ancient typewriter on which he would sit down and write articles on every topic under the sun, The only drawback was that he would begin pounding away at midnight, just when all of us were coiled in the arms of Morpheus, the God of sleep, and we would suddenly be awakened by the noise. Once Mom asked, "What are you writing about?" "Noise pollution!" he replied, without batting an eyelid.
His other hobby was winding clocks. We had a number of old fashioned clocks at home and he would spend hours, patiently cleaning them, and then winding them up. Often we would be awoken by clocks chiming away at odd hours through the night, Grandpa did ensure that none of us got an unbroken night of sleep ever!
However, after a fulfilling life, when it was time for Grandpa to meet his Maker, our hearts wept at the idea of losing this wonderful man, who had the kindest heart ever and the largest intellect as well... a man who made our lives richer by just being in it. All the good he had done came back to us as we sat vigil. And when he passed away, the very air stood still, and there was a strange silence through out the night, as he lay, unmoving. For, strange as it was, that night, all the clocks fell silent, as though their great hearts had also broken.
YouTube link - My Grandfather's Clock