Everytime Mannu Tammu n I snack on something on the way back home, I always ask to them to keep aside a little for their Didi… They too have gotten habituated to reserving anything that they are munching on for Didi. Looking at our consistent behaviour one of the regular co-passengers inquired me one day “Do you have three children?” This lady knew that I was picking up my twins from the day care and was headed home. I profusely shake my head and ask her “Noooo… What makes you think so???” She says “Daily I see your kids reserving some food for their Didi. That’s why I asked” I laugh aloud and explain to her that Didi is actually their grandmother(my MIL).
That made me actually think, she is actually my third daughter. Okay… she is elder than me, she is my husband’s mother. So what? She acts kiddish
most of the time at times. I admonish her when she keeps demanding deep fried goodies. I’m protective about her. I love to dress her up, get stuff for her and love to see the happiness in her eyes. I can’t see her in pain. It hurts me to see her agony just the way my daughters’ would. I take her for granted many times which is not right. But then, I reassure myself saying “That’s because I think she is my own!”.
A couple of days back when she was telling me something funny she did, it suddenly struck to me that I should document some memories of hers just as I do about the twins… Hence was born this post!
I generally use only black coloured clutcher to tie my hair. I recently bought a coloured one and had accidentally left it on the dining table. She mistook it for cloth liner clip and tried to hang some cloth using it. After trying hard for some time, she murmured a curse and then realized what it actually was.
When we were in Chennai she told me one day with so much fervor that there was a girl secretly living with the bachelors in our adjacent house. Resistant to believe the story I asked her if she had seen the girl? She said that Sudha (our domestic help) had told her. And she had began linking events like the guys having an argument the previous night and how it was due to that girl, so on and so forth. I asked Sudha the very next day “Is there a girl in the bachelors’ home?” She ignorantly said “A girl? No… Why?” I said Ma told me that you saw from the window and told her yesterday. She started chuckling and told me that when she had gone to wash clothes in the backyard, one of the bachelors was staring at her through the window. That was what she told Ma adding that he is womanizer. I breathed a long sigh!!! (The conversation was between Sudha who speaks only Tamil and Ma who speaks only Bengali)
Her memory is one of her strongest skills. She is a living mini Encyclopaedia – Dates, Names, Events, History, Geography, Politics, Literature, Sports, Current affairs – she knows it all. But recently she has begun forgetting simplest of things occassionally. It’s as though her thought is struck in her soundbox but is unable to reach her tongue! She asks “What did you do with that?” I ask “With what?” She goes “Arreee… That which you brought from there” And I ask “From where?” And we go on from for some more time and end up having a good laugh!
One day she was filling water into bottles from the filter and forgot that she was supposed to switch the tap off. She panicked thinking the water was not stopping and was about to call us when she realized her mistake. She narrated me the whole scenario and laughed at her own folly.
We buy 3 tetrapacks of Frooti when we go out. On Friday evenings, she demands to be taken out on weekends. She had recently got into the habit of eating Paan and Abbas would get her Paan almost everyday. I threw huge tantrums as she was on the verge of getting addicted. She stopped eating Paan coz she was scared of me! Yesterday when she left for Gurgaon she whispered to Abbas to buy her a Paan so that I wouldn’t know. I let it be coz sometimes it’s good to be ignorant! But the gist is that I love her for caring for my sentiments.
She was a working woman and hence she understands my woes very well. She had to give up her career for kids and other family responsibilities. She is one of the strongest reasons I could resume my career quickly after my delivery. She had to sacrifice her goals, desires and also let go of her hard earned money. She has undergone adversity, but has come out with flying colors. Today even though her sons are well off, she teaches us not to waste a single penny.
Although I have sung praises about her so far, I do admit that she has her own set of shortcomings. But then so do I. We do have disagreements. Abbas becomes the scapegoat and has to listen to outbursts from the two important women in his life. He makes both understand that “No two people are the same.” At the end of the day, I have no inhibitions to be declaring in public that I couldn’t have asked for a better mother in law than her. I love you Ma. Thanks for being all that you are to me! (“I will always be jealous of Abbas coz you love him more than me”)