I LOVE MY GRANDMA. The reason I haven't written about her till date (despite loving her so damn much!!!) is coz I was too selfish to share her with you. Today, I feel the need to share her with you... coz today, I miss her so damn much!!
I don't mention her often, coz I cant feel her physical presence... I see her everyday, I love her everyday. But I want to hug her everyday. Something I rarely did when I had the chance to.
Here it begins....
If you aren't in a mood for something sombre, then this is your chance to click away and go to some other place. By my last few blogs, you may want to label me as a "TRAGEDY QUEEN". But sometimes, life isn't all humour isn't it?? This blog is my expression.... of what I feel, what I want you to feel. I want to basically bare out my soul here.... but that process would be incomplete without mentioning the most powerful force in my life.
My Dadi, was born AMBIKA. She became AMBIKA SRIVASTAVA when she married. But for me, she was always DADI. I don't know when I came to realise her name was AMBIKA. I think it was when I had learnt to read and write. The first time I saw her sign on a piece of paper...that's when I knew her maiden name. AMBIKA. I can still remember her handwriting... as clear as I can see my own.
DADI loved me to death. And I loved her equally. They say true love happens once. I don't know if I've loved anyone of the opposite sex as much as I've loved her. I doubt if I am capable of it. Selfless love.... just once. Guess with family, this is expected... but with DADI, it was craziness.
I got mad at her often too. I got mad at her when she told Papa that I wasn't coming down often to meet her. That was the cable TV boom, keeping me away from her. Gosh I was so mad at her when papa reprimanded me for that. Everytime I went to meet her after that, I had this sullen expression on my face. I was kinda rude too. She spoiled me a lot as a kid. The perfect grandma. :)
Another time I remember getting mad at her was when the boys from school called me up at home. Slightly conservative, as all grandmother's were, she totally despised that I got more calls from guys than girls on a daily basis. She once told my aunt,"Yeh Dolly ke liye har waqt ladko ke calls aate hai...achha nahi hai". Dolly gets calls from boys all the time. This is not good. For the first, and last time I said this to myself, "My parents have no issues, who's she to complain." I guess our reaction was expected in our place. Completely normal.
After a happy, carefree childhood, when I awoke to the reality of life, family history and secrets tumbling out, I stopped painting a happy picture for myself. For the first time I could see what hid behind the farcical smile on my grandmother's face. She did her best to always shield me from everything she thought I shouldn't know. But eventually, as I grew older, I knew better.
I started connecting with her as a mature teenager, rather than the devilish child I pretended to be. I knew that the joint family that I lived in would soon be scattered, and I never told her how I planned her stay with me and my parents. How I dreamed that I will give her the most comforable life, the most love-filled existence that was humanly possible. How I would.....
But all that came crashing down in August 2000, when she left us. All my dreams for her, for us. I was writing an exam when I came to know of her death. I can remember how my book was filled with tear strewn gibberish. I dont even know how I managed to complete that exam. All I remember is going home, completely numb, into the arms of my aunt. Then I cried for the longest time I can remember. For the first time, I cried as a teen in the arms of my mother. Coz before this, my life, my mom...was my grandmother.
As a kid, I always stayed around her. As soon as I got back from school, I would tell her a daily tale of humour, of friends, of teachers.... just any silly thing. And she sat intently, listening to every single thing I told her. Her smile, her comment back...her admonishing me for talking more and eating less... her...just being herself.
Sometimes I feel angry at her that she gave up so easily. Sometimes I think things would have been easier for me, for papa (who loved her as much as I did) if she were around. I know she'll remain with us in spirit, in memory.... but her physical presence, the chance to feel the warmth of her hug, would always be missing.
"Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans", I read this somewhere. I sat today with my maternal grandmother(NANI) and she was telling me about my DADI. She always has fond memories of my DADI. "A wife of such an illustruous man and she was such a down to earth person". I love such talks with my NANI, everytime she praised my DADI. She always does. She always held her in such a high regard.
I love my DADI. I ALWAYS WILL. I'm trying my best to fulfil my last promise to her, have succeeded many times previously. Right now I'm having some difficulty and I think she is testing me. I'm trying my best DADI. I know you're watching and feeling what I feel. I know you support me. I will make it through it all.
Lastly, falling short of words to conclude, I think the best compliment I recieved, or can possible EVER recieve is my NANI telling me that "You have a gimpse of your grandma." I wish I can be exactly like her, but there's no one in this world who, in my books, can come close to her.
She still resides... within me... in my spirit. I am everything, because of her.... I'M SMRITI BECAUSE OF HER.
I LOVE YOU DADI.....