It has been 10 days since my grandmother (we called her Amma, fondly!) passed away. At first I didn't want to share this here. I do not like talking about my troubles and sorrows to the world. That is personal to me. I am still not sure why I am writing this...
Being this far away it hasn't yet sunk-in that she is not there any more. I guess it will only hit me, when I go back home and find her room empty. The picture of saying goodbye to her, on my recent trip back home keeps flashing back in my head. She usually didn't like getting out of bed, since it was such a trouble, due to her deteriorating health. Still she came till the door to say goodbye to me in her wheelchair and as usual started crying. I hugged her and said "Ro kyun rahi ho? Kuch maheene baad toh dobara aa rahi hoon!" (Translation: "Why are you crying? I will be coming back in few months!") She was an emotional person. She would cry even if I left home for few days to stay at my in-laws.
You know how I like to cook-up-a-storm in the kitchen and love having people over? She too loved to cook for her family and fed them with a lot of love. I think I got that from her. She was definitely the best cook I have ever known. Even while she was not well and couldn't cook, I missed the food made by her loving hands. Whenever I cooked something I would run to show it to her, for I knew she would appreciate it like no one else. I always urged my Mom to show her the pictures of dishes I made, while I was here in U.S. She said, "Humari Tanvi ke khane mein ronak hai. Uske haath ka khana kitna sunder lagta hai." (Translation: "Tanvi's dishes looks celebratory. Food made from her hands looks beautiful".) I wish she had a chance to come stay with me and I could have pampered her with all my cooking and newly-acquired household skills.
She was the most forgiving person I have ever known. She never carried any grudges and always believed in the best in everyone. Even when she was in pain and unwell she always had a smile on her face and showed more concern about everyone else's well-bing. Sometimes I feel some of her children (she had 8 of them!) didn't do right by her but she never had any complaints. She continued to smile and hope for the best for everyone.
She was the picture-perfect-grandmother, the one who would save you from your parents' wrath, give you an extra bite of sweets, melt at the sight of your first tear or pain and always be filled with love and warmth. When I was 5-6 years old, I spent many afternoons sleeping on her wobbly belly and listening to stories about Gods and Goddesses. It was so comforting. When we (me and my brother) started going to school, Amma would wake up an hour early to cook on any festival or special occasion so that we can take that in our lunch boxes and not be the last one to eat it in the afternoon.
She had not been well for past 6 years. The left part of her body had been paralyzed. Simple things in life had become a struggle for her. Though I feel relieved that she is finally out of her misery, I also feel sad because a part of my childhood has gone with her. I hope she is in a better place now, with my grandfather, looking upon us.