On Festivals, Lockdowns and my Lovely Grandma
Festivities mean a lot, especially if you are living with your grandparents. I miss my Grandma who I can’t visit because of the Coronavirus lock-down and think of her fondly.
This morning when I got up, I couldn’t help but imagine all the things my granny would do if I were with her.
She would always receive me with a kiss, where she caresses my cheeks with all her fingers together and then plants a kiss on her fingertips. She then wards the Nazar off me even before I enter the house. As I step in, she’d start telling how much I’d changed since we last met (mostly about how thin I became)
One day before the festival, she would give me coconut oil champi with her old wrinkled hands, so warm and full of love.
In the evening she’d tell me everything that happened between my last visit and now, what’s happening in our relatives’ lives, and some interesting gossip. After a deep pause, she tells about her friends/family she’d recently lost and reminisces about fond memories with them and her past. With teary eyes, she wistfully tells me how hearing news about demise becomes normal at her age. She wipes her tears and gleefully tells me how fulfilled her life is because of me and my brother and starts listing reasons why she’s proud of us. She pours so many emotions into her childlike face.
She then quickly starts preparing for the festival and I take charge of sieving the flour, grating the jaggery and making festoons with marigolds.
In the morning, by the time I wake up, she’s all ready and beckons to me to help her hold the pleats of her crisp, starched cotton saree. She ties her long silver hair into a bun and nods at me asking for my opinion. Greenish veins show up on her brown tanned skin, and the wrinkles on her face didn’t make her look any less beautiful.
Her eyes filled with love remind me of her selfless life dedicated to raising me and my brother like a mother while my single mom took the place of my father.
My lovely, delicate Grandma is a warrior.
This festival, away from her and locked down at home, I did exactly what she would want me to do 🙂
Cover image photography: Hans Vivek
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