Thursday, 31 July 2014

Aie - About my grandmother...

The word 'Aie' means Mother in my mother tongue Marathi but we used to call our paternal grandmother Aie.A grandmother is usually  called 'Ajji'.Today would have been her 87th birthday and I thought of sharing  this poem which I had written over twelve years ago.My daughter was four years old then and my son was yet to be born!

When I was born, my grandmother hastened to declare,
"I won't be called Ajji, I don't have grey hair!"
So Aie she was and Aie she remained,
Right till the end of her earthly reign.

I could hear her pattering in the kitchen
Long before dawn.
And she worked all day,
Without a yawn!
She made the most delicious meals and pickles too,
Today I wish I'd taken a moment
 To say 'Thank you'.

In Aie's regime the house was always sparkling clean.
She scrubbed and mopped,
Swept and dusted,
I told her,in vain,
It was time she rested!

When for long hours I'd been on the phone,
She'd rave and rant and shout and groan.
And about hefty phone bills
She'd loudly moan!
Her monthly budget was a wonder.
No finance minister could have made it stronger.
In her purse a rupee lasted so much longer!

I scoffed when she said gold was an investment wise,
Today, as interests fall and prices rise,
The wisdom of her words I now realize.

In winter, to wear a sweater, she with me would plead,
Not that I, to those words ever paid heed!
Today my daughter is wrapped up at the hint of a breeze.
And yet I am anxious lest she cough or sneeze!

Her reluctance to let me cycle in traffic
I used to hate.
Today I don't let my daughter
Out of the gate!
Me travelling alone gave her the shivers.
I, in my ignorance, mocked at her fears.

I laughed, then, at her obsession with her daughter,
Today, I know, one cannot, with words,
One's own lamb slaughter!
Sometimes against my mother
Her sword would be drawn.
After all, which mother in law ever admits
She could be wrong!

Then one day I went away
Without a thought nor a guess,
That her hands, for the last time
Had me blessed.
When I returned,
She had gone for her eternal rest.

An earthern lamp on the floor
Stared me in the eye.
To its steady flame
I said my last goodbye.


The Nuances And Nitty-Gritties Of Being Neighbourly

6:05 pm : I am walking in our front garden, free in the evening, on a week day, after many months, as the academic year comes to a close in...