by Saima

After reading Nancy’s post on her relationship with her FIL, various thoughts sprung to my mind. So i decided to pen them down.

I have been meeting with my Maternal Grandparents almost every single day since Class 5. Living in the same city as them, my parents would drop us there and we would get dropped there after school. My Nani is particularly an extremely fit lady *touchwood*. She gets up at 5, goes for her walk, irrespective of the weather and then does her yoga sessions, before entering the kitchen. She has to be one of the most adorable ladies. In fact, when I started looking for some Western Dance Classes to join, she pestered me that she would also join with me. By the way she is 75 or perhaps more 🙂 She is also the coolest Nani in the world. She allowed my mother to marry a non-Hindu person, around 2 decades back, and supported her thoroughly, even when my father’s family was not too keen. My friends adore her and so do all her grand children. Recently she is planning to go on a trip to Rishikesh to rejuvinate herself, along with her sisters.
My Nana on the other hand has got to be the most pessimist person! He thinks EVERY SINGLE thing he eats, WILL have side-effects on him!! He has been ill quite a number of times, but its my Nani’s determination that gets him up on his feet again 🙂 I remember last year, my Nana fell down. he ws in a lot of pain. He couldn”t move and since he had some stomach problem as well, he couldn’t eat or drink as well. That night, I was up till 3 studying. I heard Nana coughing and i woke up Nani, the whole night we were up. Just the two of us (since my parents had gone for Hajj). At one point of time, we thought he would not live to see the day. So the only resort left to us was to pray. Nani holding his one hand and me holding his other. We both started chanting our prayers. Nani chanting her mantras and me chanting my Quranic verses. And the night passed. Today he goes for his walks, does a bit of household shopping and listens to his songs almost the whole day. I don’t think I will ever forget that night.

By the way did I mention, my Nani drives around the city in her car, while my Nana still cannot drive 😉

My Nana’s mother was also alive till my first year of college. She was so fond of us. She was always calling us to her room, to have a chat, but we would often rush out after few minutes for some work. She died in front of my eyes. I wish I had spent more time with her.

Coming to my Paternal Grandparents. I don’t remember my Dadi. We were told, she was a really adorable lady, who would scold my mother and father if she ever saw her favourite grand daughters getting scolded. Sigh…

My Dada on the other hand lived to the age of 98 and died in a lot of pain in December last year. I wasn’t particularly close to him. He was a traditional old man, who was extremely religious. He was old fashioned too, he did not like grown up girls in his house to wear anything but the Indian Dresses and never allowed TV in his house. It was only in the last 2 years of his life, he allowed the TV on the repeated requests of his grandson, who wanted to watch Cricket on it. But till he died he never really saw TV. However, the one thing I admired about him was that, no matter how old fashioned he was, he never forbade any of his Daughters in Law to go out and work, nor did he tell any of us to wear Hijab. In fact he was so proud of the fact that i was studying to be a lawyer. Alas, he never saw me become one 😦

I wanted to remove my apprehensions and spend some time with him. But it never really happened. He passed away too soon. Or perhaps I realised too late.

I wrote this poem in Class 5. I understand its meaning more truly now.

Grandparents guide us

They are the one’s who are behind us

We are like a fen,

they guide us to become wise men.

This is all I remember !!