When someone calls you a ‘grandmother’ we are really offended, am i that old? am i blabbering? etc …………I think this is an anomaly of sorts because for me ‘grandmother’ is an emotion. The word itself conjures up images of a warm bundle of comfort, a soothing caress, some junk food, a case of love and only love.
My granny was a very warm person in attitude and behavior. People and relatives thronged to her just to talk and share with her. I used to call her ‘thakuma’ (a Bengali word for grandmother).
Thakuma to me was an oasis of comfort.Often on a hot summer afternoon i would find her reading her book sitting on her favorite chair as the fan whirred slowly above and the curtains blew from the blasts of hot air coming through the window. This is the image forever etched in my mind whenever i mention her name.
It was always fun times with her, listening to stories, mostly from her younger days, learning how to knit and stitch or simply getting her to give me some hug or a warm pat.
My thakuma was supremely talented and way ahead of her generation. She was amazing with the needle and thread and loved to knit and stitch. Every winter during my childhood ensured me a new sweater of a different cut and pattern. She was also the reason i could successfully attend my SUPW classes in school. Her hands would be flying as beautiful shapes and patterns developed, much as i admired it regretfully, neither did i have the interest nor the talent to carry this legacy forward.
Thakuma was an avid reader too! She watched the news regularly and always updated herself on current affairs. At that time a lot of magazines used to come to our house, mostly because she loved to read them. These magazines had a host of stories and we were the benefactors. Her quest for general knowledge had rubbed on me to such a great deal that even today i need to read something new frequently.
Thakuma was also a good cook and loved to eat, many a times when my parents would be out, she would prepare some of her not so healthy snacks, deep fried pakoras, bhajjis. This would be gobbled by us in no time. Most of the times we were caught but by then our taste buds were satiated and stomachs happy. My entry into the world of cooking was under her guidance as i learned to make perfect round chapatis.
She is with me no more, yet she lives on everyday. This was an amazing discovery, since i am able to recollect many such stories and songs and poetries which i heard from her and pass it on to my children. When a button becomes lose i miss her, when i need some comfort i miss her. When i am on this quest to search for new ideas and topics i feel grateful that she imbibed this need in me. When i am rolling out chapatis for dinner i thank her that i am able to do so with such efficiency.
‘Wherever you go, whatever you do, i will be right here waiting for you’……..Thank you granny for being such an influential part of my childhood! You live on each day and very minute in my heart.