Tale of two grandmothers – By Haricharan

Humble thanks from Cimplicityrockss to writer Haricharan for sharing this lesson with us 

Tale of two grandmothers

Tale of two grandmothers

I have been fortunate to enjoy the presence of both grandmothers during formative years of my life which further helped me to shape my outlook and thought process. My paternal grandmother had lost her parents at a young age of 7 years and she along with her siblings was fostered by their grandmother. She lived and studied in Mysore city by going to an English Convent. Her upbringing had a perfect blend of traditional values as the customs of orthodox Brahmin family and the disciplined mannerisms nurtured by the British system of education. Her father was fairly accomplished as he had built a publishing and book distribution company along with owning a considerable amount of agricultural land which he left behind to take care of when he passed away at age of 37. This made the young children supported by grandmother to shoulder the responsibilities beyond their age. My grandmother was then married off at age of 13 to a boy from a family which was not financially very well off. My grandfather had just passed his 10th standard and managed to work in some private concerns. He was diligent and honest in his work but could not manage to earn enough to support the growing family of a wife and seven children. This further put pressure on my grandmother to effectively manage from the resources that were available to her. During some of the toughest times when my grandfather lost his job and the entire family did not have anything to fend for she managed to support the family by some borrowings and help provided by her brother. All these life challenging situations made her instill in her children firm set of values of being financially well disciplined, high level of sharing among the family members and ability to steer themselves in the tough situations.

My maternal grandmother was quite a contrast where she was brought up in a well to do family and then married off to Shanbog (Village Accountant) of a sleepy village. My grandfather did well for himself from the earnings he had as a village accountant and from some pieces of the land he owned. As being   financial head of the village there used to be lot of people and officers visiting the house from various villages. My grandmother was very benevolent and was known for her culinary skills. She never allowed any person visiting their house to leave without having food. Village life presents itself with different kind of challenges unlike a pleasant visualization all of us have. It has some petty politics, has avenues to make you completely defocused and waste opportunities for personal growth. Some of these affected my grandmother’s family which resulted in them losing some land and financial comfort they had enjoyed. My grandfather did not impose any rules on his children and let them grow up to shape up their own attitudes and behavior which resulted in each of the nine children having different values of life. My grandmother’s all giving attitude made her most lovable among relatives and friends but did not help family much which was facing financial challenges. She was selfless in many ways and did not have any control or command over her children. This factor proved to be very costly in her later years after she lost her husband and had to live close to 19 years after his demise.

Both my grandmothers took turns in staying at our house. My paternal grandparents had a rotation policy of staying with all their four sons’ family so that they could spend time with all their grandchildren, have new environment and allow privacy to their children. During these stays several good features of them became highlighted of which some of them I can recount now. My grandmother always made a point to compliment my mother for whatever food she used to serve her no matter how the food was. Her enthusiasm and physical discipline never came down even at age of 80; she used to always be very neat and ensured that she always got the best attire to attend any event that she had to.

My maternal grandmother trusted and believed my father more than any of her children. She always anticipated that my father maintain the finances for her and ensure he manages her medical prescriptions and getting the medicines to her right in time. My father as he is managed it very well and served her with equal devotion. He also took the liberty of a son to reprimand at times when her benevolence and kindness to her children and relatives made her undergo troubles of all nature.  At same time she was untiringly and lovingly preparing the greatest delicacies for us to feast when she stayed with us and earlier whenever we used to visit her during the summer holidays. True to her character and possessing a genuine mother’s heart was always forgiving of all her children’s wrongdoings and enduringly served physically and financially many of them even when she was in her 80’s.

These experiences made me to imbibe certain qualities as to have the enthusiasm of life, never fail to compliment your nearest and dearest even for their simplest of efforts of theirs towards you, be kind and self-less but not to extent to hurt your own life.