Grandmom(s)

old womanAntiqueprint

When a child is born, so are grandmothers – anonymous

Parmeshvari Devi -Maternal Grandma

Heavily tinted glass Windows, butterfly wings  Flew me onward inside
Dank dark dungeons  In belly of grandpa’s  Barn of a house amidst gentle
Mooing of a newborn Calf, satisfied lick smacking family cow, horse neighing-

Barely audible moans escaping  folds of a soft white sari gracing  Patrician, gentle self- effacing granny stoic,
reticent, river in full spate spilling Tenderlove while hiding own Aches plaguing frail body, diminutive frame
Catching caregivers unawares;  I recall thick gold bracelets gracing her two blue blooded wrists

She  Personified  Love
Benevolence,  Generosity  Compassion otherworldliness
Perfect role model For impressionable youngest girls  (mom and our beloved aunt)

Paternal Grandma – Daadimaa (Heera Devi)

When mind conjures  Her regal wide face  Lady “capo” comes to mind
Mother of six stalwart sons  One beautiful daughter  A clutch of daughters-in-law
And more than baker’s dozen  Grand children

She ruled her clan With an iron rod  Especially her sons’ wives who unhappily albeit
Grumpily Followed her numerous instructions While she sidelined our fairer gentler grandpa
Shamelessly spoiling  Her youngest “black sheep” son, Overfeeding us, her beloved grandkids

Given to a few vices herself  I recall her chubby fingers reaching Out for yet another sweet despite elevated
Diabetes, both legs, huge pillars on account Of “Elephantiasis” while she rocked to and fro in her high backed
Chair and Dad her eldest administering insulin injections,  Odor of which has never left my finicky senses

Daadima lived life on own terms Pandering to a few unhealthy vices;   I never saw  her hands folded
In prayer   Instead, she loved card games, gambling,   Happily betting  everything she carried never worrying
about consequences;  Once when she bet our house keys, she was  Bodily removed by her angry sons, hubby

She was a “paan chewing” tough Old biddy, living life largely Fearless, feared, never revered ; awing
Her grandkids who stayed Confused, clueless about how, what To feel for a granny who ill-treated their beloved
Moms, yet loved them fiercely So much so she’d come visiting huffing  Out of breath bearing delectable goodies

Our paternal granny  Was an extreme opposite to our Beloved godly maternal granny yet both had been affected
Marred by India’s Bloody partition in 1947 as they’d Had to leave their all behind in Lahore; cross border
To India and start all over;  Luckily gentle granny had property in India But Dad’s family suffered direly

Maybe our dad’s mom had been gentler In her previous life before history’s dealt Blows drastically re-sculpted her
A ferocious survivor, a study in extreme Contrasts, wily, clever, foolish, stubborn No longer trusting and despite
all oddsThumbing her nose at the pantheon Of Indian gods that abundantly dotted Every street corner and then some~

*paan is betel leaf

Image is sourced from internet- disclaimer

 

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