By Bhuvi M
My Grandparents were married at a young age when my grandfather was just eighteen and grandmother all of twelve years. The age at which they were married had been a topic of discussion for both of them all through their lives. My grandmother’s version was sixteen and ten years respectively. I took my grandfather’s version; he was the one who was more mature to remember the right age and an educated person who had later became a successful businessman so in all faith I had to believe that he recalled right numbers.
Exact date and year of their marriage was never mentioned and debated upon. Celebrating anniversaries had not been a culture at home in those days. Based on calculation of my father’s age and approximate years into the marriage after which my father was born, we could roughly calculate that their marriage lasted for close to six and a half decades, with real terms “till death do us apart”. In those sixty some years, they grew up from childhood to adolescent and then adults; playing, caring for each other and sharing the responsibility of a huge joint family where they were the eldest son & daughter in law and also eldest daughter & son in law.
Both of them had different personalities; can’t be called poles apart but yes they had their own share of differences. Grand pop more reserved, less vocal, conforming to rules, strict, completely no nonsense, non approachable, traditional male of large joint hindu household and grand mom was peppy, talkative, easy going, could indulge in long conversation on some hush-hush topics, tom boyish, liberal in outlook, fond of movies (I’d watched some worst, Zeenat Amaan movies with her which people would have not thought of watching with their parents) and a strict advocate of education. I still remember her telling us, “बउआ, यह पढ़ाई है जो सिर्फ तुम्हारी है I इसको न चोर चोरी कर सकता है, न भाई बाँट सकता है I कितना भी बांटोगे ज्ञान सिर्फ बढ़ता है I यह पढाई ही इंसान को मज़बूत बनाता है और हौसला देता है I” (Baua (a way of addressing younger in the family) only knowledge is your own. Neither thief can steal it nor it can be divided between brothers. If you distribute knowledge, it increases. It strengthens the individual and gives confidence) I knew that she was different and she was the one to whom any one in the family approached in distress. Even not knowing the situation and the solution for the same she used to say, “Have faith in you and be positive, everything will be OK.” This was re-instilling “Aall izzz well” situation. That is what was expected from the senior of the family to pep up kids when they were low and confused; just required someone to re-instill their belief in themselves. In my brother’s words, she was the most beautiful lady he had seen; yes she was, eloquent, elegant, regal and royal in all ways.
Continued at Love Story of Unparallel Times – Part 2