The comfort of grandparents

I am the first grandchild on both my amma and appa’s sides. More precious was the status of the first granddaughter! Being cherished and celebrated by both the thatha and patti is such a blessing and something that I will hold dear to my heart always!
Patti and Thatha (paternal) doted on me and I always found their presence at home as a constant comfort – to whose lap I can go and lie with my face down and without a word, my hair will be stroked and suddenly I felt enveloped by bliss! Patti’s hands were so soft and even now I think of her hand stroking my hair to fall asleep! I still remember the amazing stories she used to spin on the spot for us! Patti never believed me when I told her my age and she used to say “you are still my kuzhandai”! She was beaming with pride when I delivered my first child – “kuzhandaikku kuzhandai”!
My maternal grandparents were stricter than the paternal ones. There were certain rules that we needed to follow as part of living with them but thatha was impartial; the rules applied to everyone at home. But I always felt loved and taken care of by patti and thatha. There used to be only 2 meals a day. After a lot of playing and running around, I used to feel hungry and there was always a second round of curd rice. On some days, patti used to make some nice tiffin and feed me during evenings after playtime. I cherish this act of love on her part!
Slowly and gently, this circle of comfort started to fade! One by one, the grandparents were making their way out of this earthly existence and last weekend, it was the turn of my patti (maternal)!
Suddenly I feel alone – there is no one around who will address me as “kuzhandai” (a baby/child) – there is no lap that can give that comfort – those soft hands are nowhere here to stroke my hair…sigh!
But I hold them in my memories, I feel them while cooking a particular dish, I hear them when I listen to songs or slokas! I remember them when I feel strongly about certain values I live by! I look out for them in the sky, on a star-lit night! I cover myself with a quilt imagining it to be the hands of my patti, soft and comforting and sometimes, stroking my hair and I sleep like a “kuzhandai”!

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