My life has always revolved around my Nani…
She is a warrior (injured, but still as brave). Brought up in intense poverty, as an elder sister to two girls and one boy, out of which one sister died of cholera, she was always keen on studying. When she describes her story today, one can still see her commitment towards education, the fire that she has always had. She used to sit and watch her neighbours eating apples, pondering on the gap and how only study could bridge it. When she had to set out to the city for college, she asked her father for some money to which he said,“If you really want to study, you would have to sell me.” She left home without any money, with only 2 pairs of clothes and not even slippers to wear. She was trolled, openly made fun of due to her rural look and attire, but she heeded to none. Her only goal was to get the best out of the knowledge she could gain. She used old books from a donation trust all those years, and buying one new pencil was also impossible with the meagre resources. Owing to the lack of English, she could not fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor, and settled for a B.Sc. B.Ed. From here, instead of high profile jobs that she could so easily get, she chose to work in a Tribal Girls’ School ( Madhi Asharam ) in a small village, to uplift the underprivileged. There, on Gandhian lines, she used to scour cotton and spin Khadi yarn herself for extra earning for the school’s benefit. She had to leave this place after marriage, but even after her own 5 kids, she used to help lots of others ( from the colony, relatives, underprivileged ) in their study by either keeping them at her own house or by various other ways. Hence her journey as a devoted educationalist never stopped. Even today, she takes great pleasure in teaching me chemistry and botany and learning English from me. Actually she still is eager to learn everything new, and has a high acceptance for newer technology also.
I called her a warrior because with ageing, she started gaining weight, got diabetes and high blood pressure. Already a patient of filaria, she had a life-threatening attack of pulmonary embolism following which she was detected with breast cancer. She fought all of this, now bald headed but still smiling the same smile. Next was a pan hysterectomy ( the surgery took 6 Hours ), then multiple falls and compression fractures due which she was bed-ridden for atleast 6 months every year. With all this she took care of her own mother also who stayed with her. Two years ago she had a femur fracture, then an unsuccessful non-healing surgery, then a re-surgery with bone-grafting and still she is completely bed-ridden since the fracture. Well, her love for life, for the surprises it has to offer has remained intact, and she is trying to live whatever more she has to with full joy and no regret.
I being a permanent companion in this journey of hers has learnt tremendous lessons from this unusual life. She is my first love and we live for each other. To make her life a little more pleasant, I have acted as an assistant to her in this immobilized state of hers. Me studying gives her the satisfaction that she has always yearned for all her life. Living upto her expectations is all I desire to do.
She is still breathing, waiting for the bright sun to rise in her life, and always wishing my success.
Nani’s 75th Birthday Party
I as one of the two chief organizers of the event would be glad to tell you about the
grand 75th birthday party of my granny.
As a background, nani was completely bedridden as it was just 3 months after her fracture. The whole house had been planning to host this party since the last year because nani had a strong desire to celebrate that event of her 75 years of hard life with all her near and dear ones. After the fracture, everyone had lost hope for the party except mama (uncle) and me. We remained staunch on the decision and overtook the entire organization (which was a surprise for nani).
From booking the venue, to choosing the menu, to making the invitation cards and invitees list and sending out invitations, booking tickets, coordinating guests from across India and abroad, to choosing her sugar-free cake and decorations/ music for the event, till getting everything done at the proper time/ place/ sequence. From getting the ambulance to carrying nani’s wheelchair to again coming back on bed via ambulance. I was a part of alllllllllll these activities, and believe me, it was so hard to hide everything from my sharp nani.
The party was amazingly successful, and nani was overwhelmed after meeting so many of her old friends and relatives and all her children and grandchildren.