The Great, Great Grandma

My grandmother is old, like everyone else’s. She’s 84, probably. She had been in the colonial India and when India got freedom in 1947, she was among the ones who sung the National Song/Anthem (I really don’t remember which she told me about) loudly and heard Nehru’s famous speech on the radio. She’s probably older. Her everything thin and papery. Her veins are more prominent than her skin and her lips are just a pinkish line on her worn out face. She seems so fragile, although she is not. She chants the scriptures in whispers. She made me learn them too. She’s short, which is weird because she seems tall in her old photographs. It’s like she shrunk at least a foot. I have never seen my grandpa except in photographs. It is almost like he is a fable to me – I’ve only heard stories about him. He was a great man. Selfless. Honest. Fun. Responsible. I miss him. I miss someone I never had. Is it even possible? Maybe. So my grandma had a huge family. Her parents died soon after her marriage. She has six (or maybe even more, I lost the count) siblings to her. Unfortunately it so happened that since the last couple of years, she has been losing all of them like a house of cards. It is affecting her. Of course. Why wouldn’t it? But it is also a plain fact that at this age you can never tell about your kin. But every time she hears about someone she gets broken. All her younger siblings are no more. And she gets this ridiculous thought that when is ‘her chance’ going to come. Recently, about 15 days ago (when I started to write this post) she lost her dearest, eldest sister. She was like her best friend, as sisters usually are. My both grandmas had studied when it wasn’t almost socially acceptable to educate girls after 8th grade in an all boys’ school. And so all they had was each other. The sisterhood – the friendship – had bloomed in an incredible way. There wasn’t much adventurous or exciting about it, but a different kind of emotion, a depth that is impeccable. My grandma, when she told her stories, became like a child excited about telling something that happened at play. Her eyes twinkled in a way that can only be described as in a novel way. Her wrinkles vanished for a while and her parched lips became full. And I saw in her the young her, the one she had lost in time over the years. I hold onto her as she cries into my shoulder, tearlessly. Sobs that she’s halfway down trying to hold in and halfway letting go as she loses another part of her uncertain life.

To be honest, it is not only her that gets upset in such course of events, it’s me too. It makes me scared about the next time she coughs or sighs. It is so heartbreaking to think what might happen. Life is so unpredictable. There’s so much I want to be for my family – to know that I make them proud – one day as I walk down the streets of London.

We miss the unpredictability of life in our every day course of events. We go about the world forgetting how there was a world before we – the human species – existed and there will be an after. We’re just a tiny particle in such a big universe. We are little things. And so, what matters are small things. The ones we forget to do like remembering what someone told us.

Breathe in, breathe out. Life is all about stopping for two minutes and being grateful for being able to stand where you are and having the luxury to dream about the future as lavishly as we all do.

Song of the day: Homemade Dynamite by Lorde (a queen!)

QOTD: The only predictability of life is its unpredictability.

Until next time,

Ash x



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