Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Conversations with Grandma

I was in the bus on my way to uni when I suddenly thought of my grandma. My only surviving grandparent, she must be close to 80. I call her up now and then to find out how she is. And every time, this is how our conversation goes.

Grandma - Hello?
Me - Hello?
Grandma - Who are you?
Me - This is Queen, Grandma. (Yes, she has a nick name for each of her 15 grandchildren.)
Grandma - Are you Queen?
Me - Yes, I am. I just said so.
Grandma (to my Aunt) - It is Queen.
Aunt's voice in background - Yes, I know.
Grandma - Queen?
Me - Yes, Grandma?
Grandma - What are you doing, Queen?
Me - I am talking to you, Grandma.
Grandma - You are talking to me. Yes. Have you had dinner?
Me - Yes, I have.
Grandma - What did you eat?
Me (pauses to figure out how to explain mee goreng or wantan mee or whatever) - You know noodles?
Grandma - Noodles?
Me - Yes, like maggi? Something like that.
Grandma - You ate maggi.
Me - Errmmm... yeah, okay.
Grandma - You did not cook dinner?
Me - No, I did not. I don't get much time these days.
Grandma - Okay.

*pause*

Grandma - What time is it there?
Me - 12:30.
Grandma - Afternoon?
Me - No. Night.
Grandma - Past midnight?
Me - Yes.
Grandma - That is very late. It is 10 pm here.
Me - Yes. I know.

*pause*

Grandma - So when are you coming here?
Me - I don't know. I don't have much leave left.
Grandma - Not much leave left?
Me - Yeah, not much.
Grandma - Office won't let you come here.
Me - Yeah. They won't.
Grandma - Then when will you come here?
Me - I don't know. Maybe next year.
Grandma - Next year?
Me - Yes. Next year.
Grandma - But I'll be dead.
Me - No, you won't. Don't say things like that.
Grandma - I am bedridden. I can't move. I'm very ill. I'll be dead by then. Can you come this year?
Me - No, I can't, Grandma.
Grandma - You can't.
Me - No. Can't.

By then, I can't control my tears anymore and my voice starts to shake.

Me - Grandma?
Grandma - Yes?
Me - I have to go now. I'll call later. Okay?
Grandma - Okay.



24 comments:

niti said...

it's such a emotional post even i can't stop my tears. i wish u could get leave from your office so that u can meet your grandma.
best of luck.

Kroopa Shah (Kr00pz) said...

My grandma is my only surviving grandparent and thats exactly how I feel when I speak with her

Siddhu said...

God! I can't think of how it would be when my grandma turned that old n I'm in some corner of the world! :-(. You really set me thinking. Real touching.

Btw, yeah, sure I hope I will. I don't know what else I'd do, cuz unless I try to write what I think are funny blogs, I'll end up being even more of a depressed moron than what i usually am. :-P

Sahil said...

I'm sorry yaar. I can empathise with you, I know what its like to want to go back to your country, but sometimes its just not possible.

And don't worry. I think all grandma's talk like that. Don't feel guilty. We all do our best. Aapki daadi/nani jeeyein hazaroon saal :)

Parna said...

you know i was very close to my maternal grandma. she passes away about 5 years back and i still feel her presence and the smell of her sari when i close my eyes. IF you possibly can, do take a short break and meet her. life waits for nothing.

i lost my grandpa recently. you know how a part of us dies, everytime one of them goes away

sorry if i do come across as preachy.

angelsera said...

//i lost my grandpa recently. you know how a part of us dies, everytime one of them goes away

parna,I know wat u mean.I still feel upset I wasnt able to be by either of my grandfathers bedsides when they passed away.

But maybe its because of that, I still cant accept that they are gone even after so many yrs.

In a way,it has motivated me to work harder in my life and try to fulfil my paternal grandfather's wish.The true meaning of which I only understood a few years back.

Danica said...

I just think that you have real cool postings. Look forward to reading more of 'em. Check mine too!

Peter said...

Powerful!

Stay Gold!

Arz000n said...

Awwww..
Hugs...

Tht was a touchy conversation...I remember having a similar kindof with my grandpa long time back.

Its a different feeling when you visit old people...you are not sure whts gonna happen next...No matter how much you wanna hug them and keep them with us.

Anyway....greetz!!

Anonymous said...

Nice post again. Every one could relate themselves to your postings and no doubt your readership must be soaring.
Prince

Sahil said...

oye... kithe gaye tuh?

Sayesha said...

I've never actually witnessed a death in the family (always heard such news over the phone)... Am really scared of how I would react if I were actually there...

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Sayesha
That is a touching post.
I think Parna's advice is worth considering: a three day weekend trip. There is nothing like meeting a loved one face to face and you never know if you will have another opportunity. If grandmother is really ill and not likely to live another year, there is no substitute for a trip home.

Expensive? You bet. But what is money for?

musafir said...

Tough life.

Leon said...

Isn't it funny how grandparents esp grandmoms keep asking you if you've eaten...? lol

My grandma was overjoyed when I made a surprise trip home this summer.. :-).

Keshav said...

I feel that it won't really sink in until we go to India and see for ourselves the place where they live(used to) and when we don't find them anymore that's when we realize the void..it won't affect that much when we are far away in our own little world !

virdi said...

sayesha>> abe oye dont get senti. teri grand amma ko kuch nahi hoga. and dont worry she is fiter than you. and will liuve for 236 years. but stop putting senti posts. ok the fat chick post was good. happy?? wont say anything to your posts. Promise.
mere ko bhi meri boodhi amma ki yaad aagayi. now i am senti, all becuase of you. woh tara ban chuki hai, last year. boo hoo hoo... mataajiiiiii...
V...

Sahil said...

Virdi - i know I shouldn't laugh.. but you are a HILARIOUS guy!

angelsera said...

geez virdi,after reading a series of really senti posts...Im not sure wat to make out of urs..I agree with Sahil though

Sayesha said...

Virdi,
You're adorable! Some day I'd like to write a post on you.

PuNeEt said...

So sweet post...
Don't worry you will surely meet your grand ma on ur next visit :-)
tk cr

Neel Arurkar said...

It was a very picturesque narration.

Prajna said...
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Prajna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.