“Grand” Mother

I was lucky that I had the good fortune of being loved and cared for by not one but two grandmothers. Each one was unique. My paternal grandmother was very close to me and she left for her heavenly abode when I was doing my graduation. I remember her for her die-hard determination in raising two children with humble beginnings. I share her stories with my daughter whenever I get that opportunity. My maternal grandmother reminded me of being a very gentle and nice soul. Last week when I was standing in front of her I was thinking of the good old days. The conversations between her and my grandfather were always a special feature in all my visits to my hometown. There would be some good laughs, friendly banter, and healthy arguments, and finally, peace would prevail. Over the years, my attempt has been to extract from them and my relatives, anecdotes and stories from their lives.

My maternal grandmother studied in an English medium school, unlike many women in her generation. There is one sentence that keeps ringing the bell in my heart ” What are you doing?” she used to say this in a very inquisitive tone to my sister and I get the picture that my sister is up to some mischief. When she laughed the whole room would know. Is it so that people who laugh out loud live their full life? My grandfather and grandmother are the ones who had a good laugh and lived a fulfilled life. It was a sight to watch the super couple interacting and my grandfather saying “ Oh ho”. She used to love reading the morning newspaper in full and was quite active before she fell ill a few years back.

We all used to have a good laugh as she used to open her mouth for sweets and ice cream even after she was bedridden. She celebrated her 98th birthday this year and we made her cut the cake and we all had a good get-together. I remember her reading one of my blogs and I was amazed at the pace at which she read it. I have never seen her agitated even if my mother tries to argue with her. My mother’s life revolved around her life and I must thank her for the support from the time we lost our father 39 years ago.

My grandfather and grandmother’s exit from this world was based on the absence or a perceived seperation of a loved one. “A divine destiny,” as someone in the family said. 13 years ago my grandfather left as he didn’t see my grandmother by his side and thought that she had already left. This time too after my mother left for a short foreign trip within 96 hours my grandmother’s life ended thanks to age-related complications from which she couldn’t recover. Bereavement in the family and that too for souls who had lived their life fully calls for a celebration with ice cream and jalebi ( my grandmother’s favourites).

As I write this blog as a tribute to her for being there for us since the time my father left in 1984 and my grandfather left in 2010. I remember a few things about her. She would spend every day plucking flowers and decorating our puja room. She was a lord Krishna devotee and so it was very apt that my cousin gifted her a picture of Krishna which was placed right in front of her eyes during those final years when she was bedridden 

This is a blog that I have written with my grandmother’s body by the side. We were taking turns to make sure that the lamp oil is filled and it is kept glowing till the final rites are done. I had kept an alarm for 1 AM. I was feeling very tired and then had a coffee. But more importantly, I was having a conversation about my late grandmother with my mother’s sister and my grandmother’s caretaker who took care of her for the last 6 years.

Last week as I was standing by her side, she was restless and we tried our best to mention our names to see any reaction. She could recognize none of us by the side. I was internally praying to let her be freed from this trauma and old age suffering. “I noticed how peacefully she is sleeping,” my wife remarked as my grandmother lay decked with garlands and wreaths.

My grandmother used to fast on every pournami (full moon day) and somehow it was apt that she left us on Buddha Purnima. I bow to her for being there with my mother as my mother’s world revolved around her. My grandmother’s passing closes another chapter in our lives.

As I was approaching a blogging milestone of 250 blogs, I had written a few drafts and yet I had not felt like posting them. It seems prophetic that this is my 250th blog. After 13 years (after my grandfather’s passing) a new chapter in our life beckons…

2 thoughts on ““Grand” Mother

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: