Photo courtesy: Anky (Panky Hanky), a memory of hers taking a stroll along with the golden brown sun, and maybe more.

The Gift Wrap is Undone

With the onset of summers since I was a kid, I spent my days or rather months nonchalantly licking popsicles and relishing all the delicacies my grandma prepared. Somedays they were dahi bhallas while others they were Youtube’d experiment. In winters, I let the lukewarm sun rays bathe me in the prosaic verandah, rummaging my hand through the anaj spread out on the mattress for drying. Ah, the earthly carefree smell.

But, I have been busy now that I am an adult, you see. There is always a but, isn't there?

Her silver strands brushed neatly into a bun smells of coconut oil. Does she still use coconut oil? It is not the sun that kisses morning to the world first, it’s my grandma who bathes, prepares her tulsi leaves and is an alarm clock for the Gods. Only when the tulsi water sprinkling landed on my face did I realise it was morning already. Her ambled steps as soft as the touch of a feather. Does she still wake at 4 am? Is she still feeble or is her sickness not allowing her to walk? How is it that those evenings were unusually long and slow and in hindsight, it seems as if the time was still? Is it possible for days to be that slow? Does daddy still fall asleep anywhere anytime even when he is merely sitting?

The trunk of the ephemeral past unpacked one day and the memories came rushing by. I have spent most of my childhood with grandparents, loved them and still do just as equally as I do my parents, and yet there is a banal distance in the relation. It’s been years since I visited my nana-nani house and just as it is not difficult to behold the changing sky as the sun sets, it has not been that rough emotionally. As for my daadi, I have never been close to her. Is there a pang of guilt for not being able to feel the same care and love consistently you did once? Sometimes it freaks me out. There are memories. There is love. But where is the connection? Has it left me, wasn't there, or just lost somewhere?

A friend once said to me, “The thing is, as you grow up, your relationships and intimacy change. Many of us don’t have the same connection with our grandparents, that we had as kids, and it’s nothing to feel guilty about.

In a world where people are losing their loved ones constantly, I feel a dreading thought overcome me. The thought of my grandparents leaving this world and that trail of unwanted foreboding doesn't halt. It daringly moves to a place where I would not feel as bad as I ought to. Is it easy to live with that hollowness? Or is it ok to make peace with it? Have our grandparents made peace with it as well? Sometimes some people remain, always, a part of our lives but not that integral. We don’t consciously choose to depart from their lives, it just happens. To put it simply, our parlances aren’t in tandem anymore. And that is not bad news, right?

Maybe it is ok to have the nicknames and metaphors and pieces folded neatly away in a box only to open it once in a while. Maybe it’s just the occasional unravelling of the box that makes life worth living?

PS: the anecdotes may be fictional or a fragment of my over romanticising mind, what matters is the love and thought.

--

--

--

Hello, I am shifting from Medium to a new platform Substack: https://substack.com/profile/74161918-nikita?r=185jpa&s=r&utm_campaign=profile&utm_medium=web

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

I Am Not My Korean Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams.

“The Concubine”; I hope Elechi Amadi gets a chance to apologize to me in heaven

Living in the Middle

The dos and don’ts of living in a reconstituted family

At First Sight

A String of Tragedies: How my world fell apart at age 18

­Diabetic Cyborg Life 02/26: This is Why I do This! Pt. 4

A (Family) Day to Remember…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
nikita

nikita

Hello, I am shifting from Medium to a new platform Substack: https://substack.com/profile/74161918-nikita?r=185jpa&s=r&utm_campaign=profile&utm_medium=web

More from Medium

The Best Social Connection of 2022: Your Neighbors

Recollection of My Mother’s Prejudice toward the American-Indian

Encanto: A Tale of Immigrants and Generational Trauma

We want safety, not swagger

Chancellor David Banks and Mayor Eric Adams motion for people to join the photo op. Three children stand holding signs made by adults reading “Welcome Chancellor Banks” and “Welcome Mayor Adams!!” The child on the left side eyes while holding the sign.