My grandmother will be completing her 100 years on earth within a year or two. She does not recall her date of birth not even the year she was born in. Despite her old age, her mind is sharp enough to worry for our wellbeing. A true characteristic of a mother, especially Indian mothers. She stays with my parents in Jamshedpur and is updated about us by my parents. She longs to be with us, visit our house in Delhi and watch my daughters playing.
She prays to God almost every instance while we do not pray even once in few days for our selfish desires. ‘Wahe Guru! take me away but ensure my kids are fine and healthy. Keep their repo intact in society and bestow on them a life of dignity’, she often prays to Wahe Guru.
Being a kid, I recall spending most of time being with my grand parents. For years we (my sister and I) were fed fresh milk (milked from domesticated buffaloes) early morning while we were half asleep. Somehow we had got conditioned to gulp down a glass of milk in a minute or so and get back to sleep.
Jagdish (member of our family to help us take care of our domesticated buffaloes, a source of extra income) was with us since our childhood. In fact he stayed with us since he was a kid and of same age as my father. Jagdish (I should have called him Jagdish kaku, chachu or something that added more respect to him but never did that happen) treated us as if we were kids of a zamindar or a raja. He returned to his village 15 years back to stay with his family.
He has grown old but his kids well settled in their lives. Strangely, we never got to meet his wife or his kids. To supplement his income, my grandfather helped him with a job as contract worker at Tata Steel. He use to manage only a 10-15 days leave twice a year to visit his family who lived in a village falling under Hazaribagh district of Bihar (now in Jharkhand). He will be remembered by me for his love to us, care and great service.
While I am indebted to my elders and have to try pay (‘return’ seems to be a better word) them back for their love and affection, I have an emerging prominent member in my family. Till few months back, Ruhin was an infant totally dependent on us. As she grows to be a kid, she seems to have her say in what we watch on TV, songs that we have to sing for her, places to visit or buy what she points out at while shopping. I have now to build consensus not just with my wife or Jassica but very soon with Ruhin. I hope she says yes to our fantasized Goa trip next year.