The Scorpios

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Monday, September 10, 2007

To The Grand Old Folks!

Yesterday was Grandparents’ day. So this one is to record about them ….
I have always and still do, associate grandparents with vacation, good food, plenty of mangoes and litchi, gifts, gossip sessions and surprise in their cupboard. Perhaps because most of the summer vacations and some of the winter ones too were spent lazing around in my grandparents’ homes- both paternal and maternal. In fact even when I was carrying, and was slogging in office, struggling with house work and disliking all food in general, I had vivid images and almost made plans to go off to my native place and relax and get fed by my aunt there. The high risk situation and the need to stay close to the doctor prevented me from taking off!
Every summer the bunch of cousins used to camp at grandparents’ place – the prime activities that I remember were competing with each other in terms of number of mangoes eaten or the degree of cleaning up the mango seed of all flesh & fibre, or completely turning the living room upside down by converting the sofa backs/ cushions into make believe houses or aircraft, swinging on the large swing placed in the aangan, sampling pickles, visit the local supposedly hi fi club, watching unlimited movies and TV… seems to be very drab stuff as per today’s standards but still, I can’t imagine a phase more exciting than that.
I must say, no kid should be deprived of the most important benefit of grandparents- gifts! I may see a little shallow and material but then who does not like getting gifts? And gifts reflect and speak out the thought behind the giver. And kids love this materialistic expression. I don’t remember of any occasion that my mom’s mom has omitted gifting me with anything…till date. My Mom’s Papa’s gifts have been his largesse in terms of flight tickets, share of cash received from ancestral property etc.
My grandma taught me Maths problems whenever she visited us and also ised to tell me some great bed time stories. Grandfather used to take us out for drives, wonder how he was not annoyed by the bunch of us troubling him!

My paternal grandparents were not great In-laws to Mom but we did receive our share of affection from them. My memories of my Grandfather were of those compulsory boxes of Nutrine toffees he used to get us, the competition between him and us siblings for being the first one to read the new magazine, and the Rs 100 that he used to give me when I used to go back to the hostel. My Grandma was a little too obvious in her liking for the male progeny but as time goes, I don’t seem to feel hurt about it. After all, my own brother was included in her fold of favouring the boys. I remember the tiny paper clothes we used to make in the lazy afternoons on the terrace along with her and the various cock & bull tales she used to concoct for our benefit.
The tribute would be incomplete without writing about the grandparents from Ojas’ & Tejas’ point of view.
Without the grandmoms, Mom would have been clueless on how to handle them. In sickness or in health! These grandmothers nurtured them before birth by feeding the mom what was good for them and what the mom liked best during that phase. Even making clothes to adequately accommodate the big home they were living in. Once they were born, they took care of all the little needs like bathing, washing the poop, stitching clothes, making food, making them sleep, the mom was busy being mother dairy, rest of it was taken care of.
The Mom has been able to go about the task of bringing her share of bread & butter and paying for the loans while the Grandmoms took care of the kids at home. If not for them, the family’s net worth would have considerably reduced.
The grandpas took care of the outings morning and evening. The compulsory exposure to the sun and oxygen at the right time and the walk/ pram rounds in the evenings were taken care of. While the grandmas ensured that Ojas & Tejas were dressed to kill during their evening walks… so much so that the Mom feared she would herself cast the evil eye on them.
Mom has learnt patience from grandparents who inspite of being bone tired never raise and angry voice at the kids. The grandparents are there to take over whenever Mom & Dad would like to go for shopping or a movie or dinner for two. Most of the toys/ equipments/ clothes have been grandparents’ contribution – both birthday and unbirthday presents- (as put in Alice in Wonderland).

Both kids had the good fortune of being fed their first solid food by my grandparents, their great grandparents. Also, their first birthday cakes were cut in turn via their grandmas and grandpas...something we insisted, as a tribute to the grandparents and to honour their bonding with the kids.

The kids love the patient on the phone conversation and songs from the grandmoms and the now expected popcorn/ chocolate from Grandfather. A bundle of fun, gifts, indulgence is all grandparents are about!!!


~nm said...

A great post! And your last line said it all - Grandparents are a bundle of fun and indulgence!

timepass said...

Lovely post..U brought back sweet memories associated with grandparents...

Fuzzylogic said...

So true!I still associate the best times of my life with my grandparents.Your post brought back so many good memories!I still have my grand mom and now she is the great grand mom to Ina and just as sweet as she has always been.Loved this post. My!My how the twins are growing:)They look so cute!