Sunday, May 20, 2012

BFF - Thank You

The topic some weeks ago at Blogging For Fun was "Thank You".

But today it came up as the first post on my Facebook news feed with this description:

"Is there a person (dead, alive or fiction) who changed your life in any way (good, bad or ugly) who you would like to thank? Let's hear it"

So the person who popped into my mind was my dear Grandmother. The Universe is trying to get a message through to me as the prompt for the Thursday Challenge this week was also "Mother, Grandmother etc".

For those who also read my Photos are Fun blog: the post there describes in general, her life story. In this post I bring in the personal aspects of my relationship with her and little anecdotes of our life together that I cherish.

So here is my Thank You to my grandmother who was an awesome human being and a light-filled soul.

My fondest memory is of her sitting with all her grandchildren gathered around her at the table, telling us stories of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the great epic tales of India. stories of Rama, Krishna, and Buddha. (I learned all my Indian scriptures from her). She told us stories of her childhood and of the Quit India movement when India was under British rule. She was an amazing story-teller and she kept us riveted.

She loved playing scrabble and my grandfather and I would spend many hours playing scrabble with her.  She taught me how to play Rummy and Teen-Do-Paanch (a card game played by 3 players) and we often played together.

She always celebrated our Indian birthdays. The Indian calendar is based on the lunar calendar so she calculated our birthdays on the phase of the moon at the time of our birth. (Incidentally every 19 years our Indian and Solar calendar birth dates align).

And Diwali was a grand celebration in our house. As she was the eldest in the family (among her brothers and sisters), everyone congregated at our place to celebrate the festival.  Family was so important to her. She was the glue that kept us all together. She loved her step mother (her mother died when she was in her early teens) with all her heart and her half brothers and sisters were just as dear to her as her real ones. That love was reciprocated by them to her. Even today all of us who are part of her extended family, are just as close.

She loved everyone unconditionally and she taught us the same.  I love India (the country of my birth) but there is one aspect of it that makes me infinitely sad and that is the caste system there. I think we may have been one of the very few households in India where no caste system prevailed. In her eyes all human beings were equal and all were warmly welcomed into our home and respected. She instilled that into all of her family and I am eternally grateful that she was such an evolved soul.

My grandfather was her soulmate. He loved her with all his heart and soul. Looking back, I now re-call, she always sat at the head of the table. He had a great love of life too and they both complemented each other perfectly. I was only 8 years old when he passed away but this I remember vividly. I always sat to her left and he sat to her right opposite me. And at mealtimes he would sing "J is a Goddess. She is a Goddess of Goddesses".  I think he summed it up beautifully.

Her love for all living things translated into her lifework. She dedicated her life to humanitarian work particularly to the upliftment of underprivileged women and children in India. Only in the last 2 months of her life (she died at the age of 90), did she eventually stop working. And in the last 5 years of her life, after 2 major heart attacks, did she stop travelling to villages in Gujarat where the bulk of her work was. She always travelled by train in third class as she felt that this was the heart of India.

And she fought for women's rights in India. The anti-dowry bill, the adoption of children bill,  bills for women's rights to divorce and the suspension of immoral traffic in women are her legacy to the women of India. (She was a member of the Lok Sabha, the house of commons, in the first Indian parliament after Independence and introduced these bills).

I think she sowed the seeds of humanitarian aid work into my soul for that is what I dream to do.

I am so honoured, privileged and thankful to be part of her family and heritage.  I try to live by her example - of kindness, compassion, gentleness, love and humility.

Thank You Dadima (Grandmother in the Indian language) - you are forever in my heart.

my Dadima (Grandmother) and me circa 1962


Thank you all my lovely readers for allowing me to share a little snippet of my life with you and thank you BFF for this prompt.

I wish you all an awesome day.


Warm Regards
Photobucket


14 comments:

  1. Beautiful story about your Grandmother. 90 years old, bless her heart. You must be very proud of all her humanitarian work she did. She must have been very compassionate.

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    1. Thanks Beachlover. All her family are very proud of her and yes she was a very compassionate soul.

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  2. Lovely post....Hats off to your grandmother. It feels proud to read about all the things she has done in her life.And the pic you shared is truly beautiful - kind of emotes the love between you both.

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    1. Thanks P~ I loved her dearly and she loved us all.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Sandra. Glad you liked it.

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  4. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother, thanks so much for sharing with us.

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    1. Thanks LindyLou. You are welcome.

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  5. She was truly a wonderful human being from all your accounts of her, Suzy. I'm so glad you have such beautiful memories to treasure.

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    1. Thanks Corinne. These and many more are memories that will live forever.

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  6. A wonderful story, and a sweet photograph of the two of you!

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    1. Thanks Kat. Glad you liked it.

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  7. Not sure how I missed this post, but I am so glad I found it now. I feel your love, respect and closeness to this amazing woman who was so far ahead of her time. Bless her soul and know that she would be so proud of you and your generous heart. ♥

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    1. Thanks Jo for your very kind words. She was truly far ahead of her time. I loved her dearly and she loved us all.

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