Well, I was supposed to address this to my grandmother, but my flow of thoughts kept running in third person… so here’s a write-up dedicated to my grandmom (aka ‘Balamummy’)
A grandmother, a mother, a friend before any of these, one of the wisest people I have ever met!! An astute observer with a terrific scientific bent of mind, a wife par excellence, a mother par excellence. A fashion fanatic, an obsessive compulsive instruction giver (I wish she cut down on this one, but it is so etched in her DNA). There is a story that does rounds in the family, that when God was distributing curiosity probably only my Grandmom was around, she stood there receiving all of it and has reserves that would last a lifetime and beyond! Her curiosity about knowing every little thing is insatiable!! It’s marvelous but it can make you run out of patience really soon. Unruffled by life’s unpredictable way, she has seen all the ups and downs and is a proud mother of a son and daughter-in-law who have toiled together to get a life that the family would cherish. And yes, she is the coooooolest cat I have ever met!! (COOL-thatz definitely etched in her DNA somewhere) Her patience quota can leave you wondering “how can someone be so patient???” Perseverance and Endurance like that of the River Ganga. Anger and rage are words not in her dictionary. In 27 years of my life I might have seen here lose her temper just once or mebbe twice. A voice that is soft and serene and she talks at a very calm pace. A mind that is so scientifically driven, so socially motivated and has an inexhaustible quest for knowledge, even more fantastic is the application of that knowledge in day to day life. She studied only till standard 3 but had she got the chance to school or graduate, today she would have held some high post and made a greater deal of difference to a greater lot of people. I salute her practicalities & sensibilities and her wisdom! The most fantastic aspect of her personality is that she is the person who has indirectly taught me to respect the scientific aspect of any belief and to question any orthodox and superstitious beliefs. She isn’t really politically inclined but a complete believer in democracy, a complete advocate of decision making through discussion. A lover of democracy and peace!
She is the one who brought me up when my mother was working and studying. And she has never ever been a grandmother, infact I have been her grandmother in all aspects! She has been a real close friend. My closest connection with her is her name “Balamummy”. My grandfather used to call her by her name “Bala” and my parents called her “mummy” and the super brilliant baby that I was, I coined the name Balamummy in my small little head at that small little age and started calling her Balamummy and that name stuck on to her forever. To the extent that all family members started addressing her by that name :) With all the near and dear fraternity calling her as Balamummy she has finally lost all hope of being addressed as “Dadi” :) Balamummy as I call her, has an elephantine memory. Is there anything that she dosen’t remember? Like who’s whose relative and who wore which saree and what shirt on so and so’s marriage and what did neha do 10 years back this day this year and what did hansa say on so and so occasion and what did anil deny or accept on so and so event. Phew!! I think she managed to grab up all the Tera Bytes of memory space in the Dave clan as a result of which most of the rest of us have a very limited stock of it and we use it only as RAM (read access memory), we hardly have any storage memory available.
Organized, meticulous, completely independent when it comes to doing her daily chores even at 87, reserved and planned thinker and speaker, non-opinioned, non-prejudiced, an avid reader (newspapers are her favorite), the mother of all planners born till date, I think she loves to plan years (read 10 to 20 yrs) in advance like which dress should be made for whose unborn baby and should be given at what unachieved age and time. Which cutlery or gift item will suit whose unwedded bride or groom and should be handed over on which day of their unpurchased house warming ceremony (phew … dagger down my chest!!) She should have been in ISRO or NASA. Well now before we start feeling she is too good to be true, let me tell you that she is over instructive and that is killing to a generation who can barely even take instructions, as a result – WE FIGHT. She loves deciding on my clothes and I dislike it completely, as a result – WE FIGHT. I have never fought with anyone and will never manage to fight with anyone in the rest of my life as much as I have fought with her.
Well, but the final truth is that she is a complete sweet heart. She is a wise woman always completely in control of herself like the wise men in Babylon. She is madly in love with her granddaughter (which is me) The only problem was that while she stood in the line collecting oodles and oodles of CURIOSITY God ran out of SENSE OF HUMOR as a result – Balamummy has been gifted with almost no sense of humor. But she still creates a lot of funny moments around her when she can’t read into and understand the jokes we crack, when she is incorrigible and we are fighting, or when I am breaking my head against the MOST patient person I have ever met till date on planet earth!
With Lots of Love!! To my dearest grandmother :) From her adorable granddaughter :)