I hardly have any recollection of my grand fathers….they expired within 8 months of each other when I was about two…
my parental grandmom passed away when I was in my class 3 or 4, but I do have very fond memories of her staying with us, her sweet voice, her super sense of humor, her lovely ‘vethakuzumbh’ (imli based southie dal), her bindaas attitude, her petite frame…I remember seeing her in the hospital in chennai and my uncle actually lifting her from the ambulance to bring her back home after the doctors had lost hope on her health and she wanted to get back home…As per my mom, she was the best MIL on earth who pampered my mom so much that people used to think she was the daughter and my dad was the SIL….her bond with my mom was so much more deeper than just a MIL-DIL relationship….

So out of the four sets of grandparents, my maternal grandmother is still the age of 82 she is ramrod straight, does her own cooking, changes her saree thrice a day, wears the nine yard saree with super ease, and given a choice, will stay all alone in her house in Calcutta…which of course my mamas’ dont allow….

My ‘Calcutta Patty'(Patty = Grandmom in Tamil) as me and bro used to call her, was always a figure of authority to me….though I used to meet her every year, for me she was just someone who would cook lovely food for us, be there in the kitchen and the ‘swami room’ doing her prayers and ensuring that whoever came home (at one point we were 18 people in the family in Calcutta) got hot coffee, food, prasad..

She had the most amazing sense of discipline I have ever known anyone to have…getting up in the morning, she walked to the temple at 4 in the morning and 5 in the evening everyday..she was known to everyone in the pada and though she lived in Calcutta for about 60 years, her Bengali is rustic but people around have immense respect for her..and I have never known anyone saying no to her…

But I was never close to her…close as in…well she was always there….but I dont think I have ever approached her with a secret, or a problem or anything…we had a very casual relationship where she would introduce me as her daughter’s daughter who is doing well in school, living in brc, etc etc…never have I shared any kind of bond with her…

Until…I got my own baby…
Until….I saw what my mom did for my baby
and then realisation struck me, that this is EXACTLY what my patty did for me when I was a baby….be it waking up in the middle of the night to feed me, clean up my potty, give me an oil bath, take care of me when I was sick, rock me to sleep, wash the innumerable cloth diapers, ensure my mom got good food to eat, give me food on time…everything….

I never realised that my patty, in her own special way, had done so much for me…and I have never even ever acknowledged that to her…

infact, she came over to brc for my delivery and she was the one who figured out that I was having labor pains (which I thought were pain due to loose motions!!!!!) and that I should be taken to the doc, she took care of me when I had a complicated delivery (thats another post, another time when I have the guts to spill it out!), when I was on the bed 24 by 7, she was the one who instructed my mom what to give me and what not, she cooked for me when mom started going back to school…she was there was me whenever I needed her…

Its now that I realise how much she has been always there whenever she was needed…she came to stay with us when we were kids and my paternal grandmom couldnt come to stay, to take care of us when ma was going to school, she has always come to help us whenever we needed…
I have had my share of arguments with her over innumerable things and I still disagree to a lot of things she says or does..
but underneath all this, I have realised that I have a grandmom who loves me and who is always there for me…
I have realised now what she is to me….
and I have to thank my daughter for giving me this enlightenment…


About R's Mom

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2 Responses to Grandmother

  1. Shankari says:

    Aww! This is a touching post. I have never really interacted with my grandfather's. Both of them passed away when I was very young, my paternal grandmom passed away when I was 7 years old and my maternal grandmom when I was 10. I yearn sometimes to have an elderly figure who could go really back in time and tell us wonderful stories. I satisfy myself with the grandparents of friends that I sometimes get to meet and interact 🙂

  2. R's Mom says:

    @Shankari: thanks…yaa..its nice to have grandparents…they just spoil you rotten..and I too have friend's grandparents with whom I have fun :):)

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