Sunday, 24 April 2016

Grand Parent Stories: A SHELTER TO THE LITTLE SOUL

That  night was a terrible one for me. It was being impossible for  me to rest my eyes in sleep. The first feeling of heartbreak, the pain of rejection, the enormous sorrow from heartless betrayal from the loved ones and bursting out in silent tears are not very uncommon facts when one is going through most sensual time period of life-the Teenage.  The countless nights I spend sulking on the pillow crying, when I realized on my own, how worthless it feels to be cheated by someone, very much close to your heart. I was in my nineteens by that time, so every next morning I had to pretend everything's fine and life is all perfect. The pillow under the head, the blue night bulb just in front my bed, the walls of my bedroom and my Nokia 1100 handset were only those few objects, that saw me crying every night. But it feels too difficult when you have to maintain the silence very carefully while crying. Because it was my grandma who always accompanied me in bed from a very early age of my life. Our bedroom was never blessed with a pin drop silence fortunately.  As the apartment is just nearby a busy railway station, the whistling local trains, the noise of metro rail  running in a jet speed and the lady voice announcing the scheduled arrival of the local trains or regretting for the inconvenience of passengers due to delayed arrival of the trains always filled the air inside the bedroom. 
But one day grandma woke up suddenly. Her old ears could sense a different sound other than the common earshots from the busy railway station. A sound of sobbing, a sound of cracking nose, a feeling of a shivering body by her side woke her up. 
"Are you crying?" She asked me putting the lights on. 
My broken voice managed to answer somehow, "No, why?" . But my acting skills was too weak to conceal the truth. I couldn't even meet with her gaze. As the flowing tears wetted all over the eyes and the nose and the face.
"Why are you crying, What happened?", She asked me.
I chose to remain silent, not willing to answer her. But just to manage the situation, I told, I had some serious controversy with some of my friends and that is disturbing me a lot. She sensed that something is being kept hidden from her. But she never tried to dig it deeper. Whole night she was sitting by my side, running her loving fingers through my hair and wiping my tears. Her consoling and caring words were just like a lullaby. When the mobile alarm beeped next morning, I felt that I slept last night. I slept at a stretch for more than six hours and didn't wake up even for a second in night. It was nothing less than a miracle to me in those difficult time.
 After I stepped on this earth, only for first three months I was under the intense care of my mother day and night. As she was a working lady, she left me entirely to my grandma and joined her school from the fourth month onward.  I can't remind those days even a little and it is quite natural. But as I heard from my mother, I had tortured my grandma beyond a limit as, it was one of the most  torturous jobs to feed me that time. Most of the time I used to be in a very cheerful mood except when it was the time to eat. She used to take me to the terrace and showed me the cat, the dog, the birds and every visible stuffs there to divert my attention from the bowl of Cerelac or corn flakes or the small cup of milk. Every time it took more than a couple of hours to finish the meal. But she never used to run out of patience. She was always full of love, affection and extremely caring to me. That's why even in my mother's presence it was her task to feed me. Because no one in the family was as expert in this horrible task as she was.

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 What I remember is, the days when I started going to school. She used to bath me, used to prepare my tiffinbox, used to comb my damp hair and always fulfilled my strong demands on different hair styles everyday. One day the hair had to be parted from the middle with two little plastic clips on both sides, the next day it had to be a side parting with a big Micky Mouse clip on one side, some time two little horse tails tied with red ribbons and some time a pony tale at the back like senior girls. The expert hair stylist was always available to me without a word of disturbance or complain. Thankfully, a school uniform was there and I was not allowed to experiment with different dresses. Otherwise, to get me ready for the school  would had been a punishment to my grand ma. 

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My all time favorite item in tiffinbox was the delicious french toast or omelet or scrambled eggs  made by her. Almost everyday I used  to request her to make french toast for me. But my mother had a strong objection with eating french toast everyday for health issues and allowed me to have omelet or french toast or scrambled eggs only once in a week. But she was pretty much aware of this fact that the loving grandmother is very much lenient towards her spoiled granddaughter and her unfair demands. So every day after coming back from school the first task of my mother was to open the door of refrigerator and to check the number of eggs left there. But I and my grandmother were much smarter than her. Everyday grandma used to go with me to the bus stand for the school bus and returned home only after seeing me seated comfortably in the bus. On the  way back home the number of eggs in the refrigerator were tactfully compensated from the local grocery shop. So that, I could enjoy the eggs crisp fried, full of onions and tomatoes and capsicums in my lunch break twice or thrice in a week. 
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The exciting and adventurous stories connected us quite strongly, I remember still now. When I was very young and was unable to do a smooth reading from the books, it was my grandma who used to read those stories to me. The story of the brave prince saving her princess from the ferocious demon, the story of Ramchandra, Lakshman and Sita from Ramayan, the Kauravs and the Pandavas and the war of Kurukshetra in Mahabharat, Cinderella with her lost shoe, the race between rabbit and the tortoise. When I grew up a little and started reading simple stories and rhymes, I was asked to read the stories to her. Every time when I had a wrong pronunciation or had difficulty to spell a difficult word, I always found her ready with  loving and sincere corrections. 

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 I have a very strong strong affinity for water and I really don't have any idea whom I inherited this affinity from. There used to be a small pond in front of our apartment. Every afternoon, I and my grandma used to go to terrace to water the plants, to play and to see the birds of different species flying back their nest. That little pond always drew my attention. For a long time my eyes got fixed at that pond, seeing some young boys jumping and bathing in that pond.  One day, suddenly I started nagging and pulling my grand ma's hand for taking me to the pond. She looked a little disturbed and told "Please don't ask me to do something that I can't do for you. If I will take you to that pond and if somehow your mother would come to know this , you would get a good hand of dhulaai from her." But seeing me crying and rolling on the floor she promised me, "Okay, calm down now. I would make an artificial pool for you in the bathroom when your parents wouldn't be at home." One day we got that opportunity. Grandma thoroughly cleaned the bathroom with floor cleaner and asked our maid to manage two or three bricks. With those bricks she blocked the outlet of our bathroom and ran all the taps and shower in bathroom and the water got logged inside the bathroom. She and the maid went mad laughing, seeing me dancing, jumping and rolling in logged water raised just up to my knee level.

The reason, I am most grateful to my grandma is for saving me from my mother's tough treatment or you can say dhulaai whenever I scored poor marks in exam. Every time my mother beat me up with different stuffs nearby her hands, a ruler, a stick or a cooking spoon, the old lady always arrived at the torture spot to save her peanut from a strict mother. Afterwards she never missed to give a silent treatment to my mother for being rude to me. Even when after few hours, I and my mother used to patch up peacefully with each other but my grandma used to continue her silent punishment towards my mother for weeks.

Till my graduation days my grandma was with us in Kolkata. But when I left Kolkata for my Masters it became impossible for her to stay all alone in the apartment. Both my mother and father leave for their jobs early morning and come back in the afternoon. Spending the entire day without a single sight of mine in that 3BHK apartment started accumulating depression and loneliness in her. The television set with some boring  TV shows, our maid coming for an hour or two and doing the cleaning and washing and laundry and the newspaper and the story books gave her company in lonely moments.  Slowly she started having problems with her health. On doing thorough medical checkup the doctor couldn't find anything serious in the reports. Somehow my father sensed that it is the loneliness and depression that is making her sick with no reason. So she was sent to our native place, where the rest of my family stay together.

Grandma is in Jamshedpur now from last five years. Every year on the vacation of  Durgapuja or Diwali we go there and meet her. She is healthy, happy and spending a quality time with her grandchildren and other family members. But when I come home, I miss her terribly every time I sleep on my bed and listen to the lady voice announcing the arrival times of the local trains , when I open the refrigerator and see the egg rack, when I clean the dust from old story books and photo albums. I am incomplete without her in this 3BHK apartment. I love her a lot, I miss her a lot. She was like a shelter to my soul.

 This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
   
Thank you for stopping by. Please pray for long life, good heath and happiness for the loveliest lady of my life.

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