Monday, January 4, 2010


My Nani passed away last weekend. Yes, while the world was busy ushering in the new year, my nani, lonely and sick, quietly left for the next world. I was offcourse part of the world, out on dinner with husband and daughter. We were probably enjoying our three course euro meal when she was calling out to the neighbours for her last sip of water. I had not even cared to call her up to wish the new year. She anyways could not hear well enough to comprehend much of what I would have talked on phone.

Nani was a tough nut. My mother,an only child moved to a different state to be a part of my Dad's family when they got married. And then, Nanaji passed away barely an year after his retirement. That was 15 yrs back. Since then, Nani had been on her own, living all alone in Nanaji's ancestral house in Old Delhi, now better known as Delhi-6. As the years passed, her health began to fail. Numerous efforts were made by us to bring her to Allahabad to stay with us, but she never stayed beyond a week. Her attachment to her place, her home was probably greater than to us. And we could do nothing other than helplessly watch the gutsy woman from Punjab getting reduced to a bunch of bones. Nani was immensely proud of her punjabi roots. She dressed fashionably, wore sleeveless blouses and chiffon sarees at a time when they were both unheard of in Allahabad, which is why my mom never had any. Her punjabi taste was most prominent in the way she tied her hair with a false braid, which had colorful hoops in the end. As a child, I sometimes tied it to my hair to make it look longer. And to top it, Nani had an impressive collection of cosmetics- lipsticks, vanishing creams, compacts, stuff that looks basic today but it really fascinated me then, especially since my mom never used any of it. Not just that, Nani was so very house-proud. And she had reason to be.. her house was always so neat and impeccably clean. When we visited her during summer vacations, she had a tough time keeping the house together. She would often compare us to our Mom, telling us how quiet and well-behaved mom was as a child, and how hard it is to imagine that she could have such naughty kids as us.

Now that Nani is gone, I have this terrible urge to travel back in time and spend some more time with her. It is queer how we realise the value in things the moment they go beyond our reach. Her voice, which was only a phone call away all these years, her cute wrinkled face which required me to just fly for 2.5 hours for it to light up with joy is now lost forever. All I have are memories, and one of my fondest is undoubtedly of her efforts to teach me cooking. No, I never learnt, but she did succeed in getting me make rotis. The perfectionist in her drove me nuts in the pursuit of making the roundest, softest roti, but it left me with a skill I would use and take pride in every single day for the rest of my life. Talk about gifts, eh? I wish I had the sense to learn more from her, she was such a wonderful cook, one who could even make the normal dal so tasty that we would be left asking for more. I never told her this, but I so want to, as so many other things. But it is too late now.. I will still say the only thing that makes sense anymore.. R.I.P.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Random.. really so!

My husband never ceases to amaze me! We have been married for close to 4 years now, and I already knew him for almost 2 years before we tied the knot. It is such a long time now, I feel I have known him since ever. So much that it is difficult to imagine that there was actually a time when we were not together. And still, there is so much to him waiting to be explored. If you just scratch the surface, we are a very regular kind of couple. Most couples look that ways.. but I am sure they share a different chemistry each. We are so different in so many ways that I often wonder what bought us close. But then, on second thoughts, we were not so different 5 yrs back. Moving from the early twenties to late twenties has changed us a lot, and top it with marriage and a baby. You get the picture, right? No, you don't.. You can't! There is so much more than that, and it is not possible to put it all down in writing.
Now before I ramble further, let me tell you what triggered it. He has updated his blog after nearly 2 years, and after reading the recent one, I just went on to read his previous posts. He has hardly blogged since we got married, the last 3 posts are on food, food and more food. But when I read the stuff he posted 4,5 and 6 yrs back, I find him so different. It is like rediscovering him. I have off course read all of it earlier, but that was so long back that it is as good as never. Today, it reminded me of the person I fell in love with.. the person I yearned to spend time with, and pledged my life to.. Post wedding, we have had a love-hate relationship. I say that for myself. He is not the kind to hate anybody, least of all his wife. It is me who hates people seriously, remembers every rude word directed towards self, trusts God to even out.. Yes I do all of it. But then, I am one who craves for her people, her place like crazy, and never forgets the slightest act of kindness. The spouse is sort of neutral, and manages to appear annoyingly so. However, his blog says otherwise. It speaks of a gentle, sensitive, warm soul who probably uses a cold exterior to create a formidable facade. Deep within, we are probably still the same. I so wish he would blog more often!