I lost my Paternal Grandparents and my Maternal Grandfather before I was old enough to create any memories with them. What I know of them is only through all that I hear, from family and family friends.
However, I was lucky enough to spend my growing years with my Maternal Grandmother, my Naani, whenever we visited her home in summers and when she lived with us. My Mum and her siblings called their mother Maa (Mother), and without a thought we grandchildren began calling our Grandmother ‘Maa’ as well.
Maa was always neatly dressed, in pastel-hued, starched cotton sarees. She wore her sarees in the Gujarati style, with the saree pallu worn in the front. Her head was always covered and though worn from dawn to dusk her saree never creased or crumpled. As a newly-wed Maa had Parsi neighbours, who taught this teenaged bride everything, from wearing a saree, to cooking and keeping house. Maa was so attached to the Aunty who did that she started wearing her saree like her.
I spent every waking moment with Maa when we were together. I told her about school, my teachers, my friends. As someone who never had an opportunity to go to school Maa would listen in rapt attention with an eager smile on her face. I got her raw Mango sprinkled with chilly powder from a vendor outside school and both of us sneaked out to the terrace to enjoy it. As I grew I confided in her about my crushes and horrified her by asking her about hers. After much cajoling she admitted that the actor Bharat Bhushan was her favourite. Maa was a great cook, her Tur Dal is legendary as are her Churma Ladoos.
When Maa returned home we had a pact that I would write her letters. I wrote and posted a letter every Thursday (our weekly school holiday) Maa wasn’t literate but she made other people read out my letters to her many times over and proudly pointed out that ‘her granddaughter spoke and wrote in English’ When Maa passed away each and every one of my letters were found in her bag, lovingly wrapped in muslin.
I consider myself blessed that I had an opportunity to spend time with Maa. As I grow older I find her in so many of my tasks, my words, actions and thoughts. I wish she could have been with us longer but the memories that Maa left me with are precious and I am thankful I have them.
I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents Day. Do share a selfie with your grandparents on Sept. 10, 2017 on Twitter or Facebook with #LoveJatao & tag @blogadda to win a goodie from Parachute Advansed.