In the previous post I wrote about how my Annamma got on our nerves and drove us crazy. But apart from that, she was the coolest granny anyone could ever have and we loved her to the moon and back.
Annamma was one of the highly educated women of her generation. She had passed metriculation (Class 10 of her times), was an avid reader, crazy cricket freak, fun loving and the most doting grandma. She solved crosswords and answered quiz questions alongside us like a pro. She knew names of all cricket players and watched cricket with us even burning midnight oil. She used to call “Brett Lee” battery :-D. She said that by mistake for the first time and cracked us up. She would purposely repeat it to make us laugh. Annamma was very interested in our acamdemic and extra-curricular activities at school and would always keep herself updated with all that was happening in our school. She used to feel so proud of our achievements and always appreciate us. God spare the guests who would visit our home, she would brag about our accomplishments to no end. We would hide our faces in emabarrassment.
Ajja and Annamma had an age difference of just 3 years. But in terms of education, Ajja had failed in class 4 and was forced to earn a living at a ripe young age. That was never a factor in their relationship as they loved and respected each other immensely. We used to hear stories about how they got married. Ajja was one of the most handsome men I have seen and he was known to have been sought after by many young lasses. The proposal for marrying my grandma apparetly came from a relative who knew both families. When they matched the horoscopes to predict the fate of marriage, they were told that marrying Annamma would bring prosperity to Ajja. He was going through a rough patch of life what with getting his sisters married, his brother educated and being the sole bread winner of a large family. The marriage was arranged and as per the soothsayer’s prediction, their union brought welfare to the family in all respects.
For as long as I can remember, Ajja and Annamma used to sleep in the same room but on different single beds with a distnace between them. I really wonder why! On occasions such as Annamma’s birthday or their anniversary, we grandkids used to request them to give each other a kiss. The embarrassment on their faces would be priceless. They would act as if they had never had any physical contact with each other. Ajja would wake up as early as 4 AM almost everyday. Annamma would follow suit, she would make 2 cups of coffee and they would sip them together. Both of them would then start walking in our front yard waiting for newspaper. On exam days, I would wake up early to study and ask Annamma to make coffee for me too.
With Annamma by our side, we did not need any physical alarm. If we asked her to wake us up at a certain time, she would do it unfalteringly. With her skills to haunt us during our early age, we would be rest assured that her waking mechanism would put any snooze feature of alarm to shame. Apart from studies, Annamma was a pillar who supported us with our other activities as well. She became the audience when we had to practise singing, she would become the hair model when we had to try out new hairstyles, she was the hand model when we prepared for Henna competitions, she would help us in practistind speeches or drama dialogues. She was our companion while playing board games, card games, art and crafts. She was the guinea pig who was more than happy to taste our experiments in the kitchen. During the early years of our life, all the clothes we wore were stitched by Annamma.
More about Annamma in the next post….