Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Loving Ways :)

Thud! went the bottle of coconut oil and a chair was pulled out in the sun. A pile of hair came down on her shoulders as she got ready to massage her hair in the everwelcomed winter sunlight. "Look if he's up ! " said grandma, "who?", I asked..."Your nana(grandpa)"."But why can't you take his name?", leaving her trapped in my question, I got busy playing with my blocks, trying hard to make a house with several unsuccessful efforts. "No, I can't!" came a stern reply. "But why?"I asked, giving her a questioning look, "because women are not supposed to take their husbands name."replied grandma, with a bit of irritation in her voice. "But mamma talks to pa directly?". Now tired of dealing with the storm of questions, my grandma lowered her face, narrowed her eyes and gave out a few but solid words.."are you going or not?"Though it was very rare with nani to get angry at anyone, but when she did, it was better to be on the safer side, therefore to cling on to the safe mode I jumped up and ran across the veranda to see if nana had risen from his long slumber.He was quite good when it came to sleeping, one can say he was a champion at that. On the day of his funeral when so many people had stories as to how he had helped them in life, I just thought whether he was doing it during his sleep?:)Thoughthere was a tight schedule that he followed and when he was busy, no one could be near his den(thats what we called it,though his grandchildren were born with a forever access card, it was the elders who had to suffer;)
As I came back with an affirmative reply, My grandma's open hair went straight back into a bun as she quickly headed towards the kitchen to prepare his breakfast..two slices of bread with a half fried egg..the only thing he ate with piping hot cup of tea.
There was something about my grandma's cooking that I can never forget..a different aroma, a simple but amazing taste and yes stuffed with loads of love. Whenever I came to her in the morning, I knew that she is going to say those magical words, "go, there's something for you on the dining table."Even a simple bread pakora stuffed with nothing at all, tasted heavenly! I still remember how she introduced me with my first piece of cheese. My grandparents house was a great place for me and my cousins to play hide and seek..it was huge...it still is..though Ive grown big in every sense of the word, but I think certain addictions never leave you, and I am happy they don't..so one day I was just playing alone as there was no one else to play with and decided that I would spend my time watching kites from the terrace..now the terrace was a forbidden area..kids not allowed kind of a place, so grandma never allowed me to go upstairs, except on certain fortunate occasions, when she had some work. So I got all prepared to request her for allowing me to go upstairs, being my grandma, she smelled the mischief and called me to the dining area, I went there with hurried steps, maybe this was my lucky day, may be she would grant me permission! There she was, with something wrapped in a silver foil.."come here, I'll give you some cheese to eat", "kya cheese?"I asked her..."Cheese, cheese!here you go!"
Thats how I got to eat my first piece of cheese and love it till date.
After nana was through with his breakfast, he too joined us in the lawn...while grandma got busy with her hair massage, as the coconut oil had melted by now and I got busy with the colourful blocks....the colour which makes my memories beautiful till date, nana got busy reading the newspaper along with his hookkah (a beautiful Indian version of a smoking pipe).
Yesterday as I was driving home after work, I heard a joke on the radio, which made me think as to how things have changed...the joke was on men, who become donkeys after marriage and thats precisely why women call them "AG"..the full form of which according to them should be "abe gadhe"(you donkey). Though I've never heard women calling there husbands "AG"(atleast not in the current scenario),but the joke did take me to the time when my grandma refused to take my grandpas name, out of her respect and love for him, or just "aap", if needed to be addressed directly and same was the case with grandpa. But the only difference was that he did take grandmas name most lovingly but that too was followed with an "aap". At that time I just could'nt figure out as to why this was the case, but today I 've understood the real reason, its a fact that would always be true...Respect and love are the two most essential ingredients for a beautiful realtionship..be it any, and this was one way through which my grandparents expressed their love and respect for eachother :)


  1. *whispers* a long blogpost, and i usually escape reading the first and last para.But,rite here..i read each and every word...u hooked me and took me back to childhood days..ma ki tail maalish, nana ki aadatein!!
    "Aap"is used at our place even to address the little kids..u are so right..its the respect and love that defines each of us and our relationship to ourselves & others.
    the way you define relationships, your perspective is amazing..it never fails to touch and not only touch me to my core, but moves and inspires me thoroughly.

  2. respect and love
    i feel is mostly interrelated

  3. Beautifully said.As Lakshmi says respect and love are intertwined always

  4. Very touching post!! My mom has never called my Dad by his name. It was like suniyo jee... It was more of a showing a respect to the other person. And after a long time there is even no need for calling the name.. !!

  5. Hey, loved your blog! Somehow I dont mind calling a person with his or her name, the other way, I find odd and have a number of times fought with ppl on this point, but I am all for respect and for me taking a name of that person in no way decreases my respect for him, name is beautiful, with such love we keep a child's name, why should the world not call him by that name?

  6. Hey, you have a lovely blog!! It was truly an enjoyable read. I agree with Lakshmi when she says that respect and love intertwined. On the whole, it was truly nostalgic reading it since it took me back to the days when I was growing up and an oil massage was a regular Sunday affair.

    The way you define relationships is amazing and you do have a writer's eye for observation. Hoping that you'll go a long way in life.

  7. Hi Sujata, I toatlly agree with you, yes I do agree that calling someone by their name is a sign of love aswell, but here I was just trying to bring out a few traditions that people followed, it wsant as if they were doing it out of compulsion, it was their way of respecting each other. Thanks for your visit, happy to find you here:)
    Hi Akshay, thaks for your warm comment.
    Do come again both of u!

  8. I agree with you.... Thanks for sharing......