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Dear Granny, you said a lot without words

Dear Granny, you said a lot without words

Maya was hurrying in the kitchen. The curry was ready, but not the rotis. “Mishti, another few minutes, darling. Don’t you fall asleep. Dinner is almost ready.” But her seven-year-old granddaughter mumbled something, her eyes barely open, as she stretched out on the bed in the dining room where her Grandpa sat. Maya hurried all the more with the rotis as she also fried something in a vessel on the other burner. “Oooooh! Maaaa!” There was a piercing cry from the kitchen as something fell. Everybody, including a half-awake Mishti, rushed to the kitchen where a mini-accident seemed to have had occurred. Maya softly moaned in pain as a vessel lay on the floor with hot oil from it spilt all over the floor. Grandpa was shouting, “Oh my God! Why did you have to fall asleep before having your dinner, Mishti?” Mishti just looked on, dazed. The hot oil had left horrible burn marks in a long line along Maya’s leg down from her left knee. After a few minutes of commotion, Mishti walked into the puja room quietly to have a look at Granny where she had managed to drag herself somehow. Maya sat on the floor, legs stretched out, the burnt skin looking uglier now.Neighbours sat around, suggesting remedies for quicker relief, and nobody noticed Mishti coming in.


Around four years back when Mishti’s second child was born, her parents were with her to give her moral support. Together, after decades, with no corporate job now to snatch away family time, Mishti got opportunities to go back to the old days with her mother, when the new baby slept. “Ma, do you remember how Deeda had got burns because she was hurrying to get dinner ready for me before I slept off?” “Burns!? When?” Mishti knew in that moment that Granny had chosen not to talk about it at all with her daughter who stayed far away. And decades had passed with not a word having been spoken about it!


The seven-year-old Mishti is today’s me. Four years back, I learnt a precious lesson – silence wields great power! By not mentioning the event to anybody including her own daughter, and seeing to it that it was never discussed, my Granny had ensured that a very sensitive seven-year-old did not have to carry a baggage of guilt with her! And no other incident could have taught me better what patience with children means. I knew in my heart that Granny wasn’t for a second annoyed with me, for she took it for granted that children are children and cannot be expected to behave in a matured way always. But yes, I never again slept off before having dinner as long as I stayed with Granny.

My dear Deeda, you also showed us that day that, with tremendous will power, physical pain could be shut out, even if it was for a few minutes. For how can I forget a lady in her fifties quietly listening to her neighbours as she tolerated the intense pain from the burns without even a sigh? I wish you were here around now to whisper a few parenting tips to me when at times my children love to test my patience and make me wish – “Only if I knew well enough the tricks to handle two children of completely different temperament like my Deeda knew!”


Deeda was my maternal grandmother, to whom I owe a lot. She must have had put in a mammoth effort to raise two grand-daughters though it all came across as an effortless exercise during those childhood days. She could have given all parenting book and magazine publishers a run for their money had they existed during her time! Was my Granny super-special OR are all grannies of all generations super-special?!

Do share your Granny-experiences here! The heated discussion on whose granny is most super-special can then be kicked off!


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5 thoughts on “Dear Granny, you said a lot without words

  1. Bhagirathi Panchal

    Grand mom’s are the best things in the whole world.Children share a unique bond with their grandparents, sometimes to their parent’s annoyance!! I hope this message reaches all the people who need to know about this unique loving bond, and respect it…! Love you Baa…miss you…!

  2. Vanita Nagpal

    I really liked it…Patience was like a jewel for women at those times. They used tolerance as their wisdom. And look at us…. :-)

  3. Mitra Bandyopadhyay

    The write up is so apt in the present scenario.I feel the key words are patience ,endurance and the ability to adopt a moment or a situation.I am reminded of an anecdote.I have twin sons and at times they used to really test my patience.One day I found my mother in law cooking in the kitchen and she gave them small patotoes to play with .They were merrily playing , no high tech as games were required.It was only my mother in laws presence of mind and the ability to adopt to a situation

  4. Aparajita Bose

    Thank you so much, all of you, for your lovely responses!

    Mitradi, I am honoured to have you share your experience here.-Aparajita

    Mitra Bandyopadhyay has been a Mathematics teacher in senior classes in different schools for long and is also into counselling. I’m honored to have her here!

  5. Sujoy Saha

    Yessss…….tolerance is one of the basic pillars in parenting…..The level of tolerance your Deeda has shown is Hat’s Off……I don’t see that kind of tolerance in today’s society……you can see the direct impact…..You can hardly see any Joint Family……Divorces are going up……Saas Bahu war has become episodes in Serials…..I hope some day we realise the value of tolerance & prevent our society & culture going to Dogs……


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