Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Remembering Aei - my grandma

I had been planning to write this post since a long time. But I was scared to jinx anything. But the inevitable happened.  This post is an ode to one of the most amazing persons in my life - My grandma or Aei (in Odiya we call her this).

Born in 1922, in the pre-independence era, she was amazingly forward thinking for her age. She was the first girl to have completed elementary school in her village. She was very good at maths and could do mental math easily even at a later age.

She married and adapted easily to her in-laws family and made everyone her own. Mom to a huge family of 13 kids, she never complained about the work load. She always treated each kid specially and I don't think any of her kid lfelt ess loved than the other.

And yes they always had guests. "Atithi devo bhava" - was something that is still practiced in her house. If there is not enough food for the guest, she would skip a meal to ensure that the guest is fed! Drivers, gardeners, anyone who steps into her house is fed and fed well like her own child. 

I also saw diversity at best in her house. They had family friends from all religions and the kids from those families considered her as their mom too. I remember an occasion where an Uncle (my mama's friend) who had just returned from Haj, came over to visit Aei after the trip to take her blessings. Oh and the goodies that came during Christmas from the Christian family friends, I think only the best was ever sent over.

I was her oldest grand child and obviously treated very specially. I have such great memories of childhood spent at her house every summer. She was one person who treated me as her equal even when I was a kid and discussed all her feelings with me. We used to chat late into the night after everyone slept off. I learnt how not to judge people based on my conversations with her. (OK it is still a learning process for me - something she had mastered really well). She had a kind thought for everyone and even at this age inquired about everyone's well being while she herself was ailing...

Aei turned 90 in April and passed away last month. Though I am sad, I know she had a rich life and lived a good life. She passed away at her oldest daughter's house, surrounded by her kids and grand kids.

I will miss you Aei but I know you have gone on to a better life! You will make your next abode nicer and pleasanter for everyone around you!

Blogger friends, thanks for the comments and inquiries over the last month. I wanted to take some time to get my thoughts together and write this post. I don't think I have done justice to such an amazing person, but this is my small tribute to her!