Growing up in India, my family and I have traveled a lot and lived in many cities all over the country.
For the first eight years of my life, my family lived in Mumbai. Most of my mother's family also lived here including her parents, grandmother, and brother.
Due to this, I am incredibly close to my grandmother and uncle. And miss my grandfather and great-grandmother more than words can describe.
Being the first grandchild of the family, I was pampered more than anyone else and was given everything I wanted by my grandparents.
Living so close to them, I used to see them every weekend so I grew up with them being a constant source in my life.
Birthdays, anniversaries, festivals, holidays, or for no reason at all, I enjoyed their presence and loved spending time with them.
As someone who always had this close-knit circle around her, I thought this would continue until I was older and did not expect to lose my grandfather so early.
Although I was 12 when he died and it has been eight years since he left us, I remember everything as if it were yesterday.
I remember how he was going to come to stay with us the weekend, how we had planned to celebrate his birthday, and how having him over (in my mind) meant a constant source of candy, stories, and fun.
But things never go the way you want them to and he died on July 7, 2010, only two days before he was going to come and stay with us.
This was something I did not see coming and left me shaken up pretty badly. Losing my grandfather was tough but after eight years, I can say that we have managed to accept the truth and move on.
Ask anyone in my family- my parents, my sister, my extended family- and all they can ever say is what an amazing man he was.
How he was always there for everyone and how he never let hard times shake that smile on his face.
Today I would like to tell him that while we are happy, there is not one moment when we are not thinking about him, or how it would have been if he had been alive today.
How we would have celebrated his birthday and how he deserved to be celebrated.
I would love to tell him how terribly we miss him and how glad I am that out of all his grandkids, I was lucky enough to spend 12 years with him.
How I am sad that Sadhvi (my sister) could not spend much time with him and get to know him better.
How sad my mom gets and how she wishes that he would have been there with us for a little longer.
How my father misses one of his favorite men whom he dearly loved and respected.
How although its been eight years, I wish I had spoken to him the day before he died when he called and asked to talk to me and I said no because he was going to be coming home soon.
How I wish I could have told him how much I loved him and how much he meant to me.
How I wish I could tell him that I love him, miss him, and cherish the 12 years of my life that I spent with him and got to know him.
Lastly, I would love to have him in my life all over again so that he could see how well everyone is and what we all are doing.
But all I can say is that Thatha (what I called my grandfather) we all miss you and love you more than words can describe.