She and I had a different bond. Had the opportunity of spending a lot of my time with her. She was not educated in English but i remember she sitting with me and making me do my maths homework when I was in std 2 and my ma was in hospital.
She taught me responsibility and that one should have intention.
Early morning she used to go to the market to do the ‘bajar’ for the family. All the vendors knew her including the maach(fish) walas. They loved their mashi. Never did she receive spoilt vegetables or fish. When she could no longer go to the market, the Maach wals delivered the fish at home. When her helper used to take her bag to get vegetables for her, they recognized her bag n gave the boy whatever she had asked for.
She taught me how to be nice to all people.
After the death of my grandfather, when there was no one to come n stay with her for a few days after we left, she refused to come with us to Nagpur. I remember she telling my dad, :Dilip Aajge chole gele aar fire esche thakte parbo na.’ (meaning if i go away today, i would never be able to come back to live in this house.) She stayed in that house alone for almost 10 years before she left us.
She taught me you have to fight your own battles. People will be there to help but still the journey is yours.
With lots of time in her hand, she made ‘godris’ for the arrival of my daughter, ‘asans’ by hand and also baby clothes. She used her free time for her garden too. She knew how to keep herself busy.
She taught me to keep myself busy always.
When her health started deteriorating and she was restricted to the house still she was so strong to handle herself. Requests to ask her to come and stay with us permanently failed with her telling us that she would do so when the time came and she knew dat she couldn’t handle things anymore.
She taught me self respect and self reliance.
Now she is no more but i miss her so. Kolkata to me was my grandmother. She was my teacher for a lot of things. My recipes were very good and expensive too coz they always involved a phone call to her which never lasted less than an hour. 😛
She may have been my grandmother but she was also a mother to me in a lot of ways. So thank you Dida for being such a big part of my life. Wish u had waited for 10 odd days so that i could atleast have seen u alive.
But thank you nonetheless for all those precious moments you have given me. Keep blessing us from above.
Happy Mothers’ Day to you too!!
– Deedhiti Mudliar
Written way back on 10th May 2015.