Like Old Wine

I was lucky enough to have both my grandmas around when I was growing up. I met them during our summer hols, when we went south every year. Mysore ajji - dad's mum, was the one I considered more fun. She used to keep lumps of kal-sakre (coloured rock sugar) hidden away for me, tell me stories when she could speak, make much of me and my sister and never interfered with our play. Bangalore used to be boring - a house with no kids except me and my sister, an ajji who was into madi - orthodox to the core - she wouldn't let us touch her or enter the kitchen in the morning till she was done cooking. Her usual advice used to be, "Be a good girl and obey your parents", and our outings used to consist of a walk to the nearest vegetable market or temple.

It was only after I became a mother that I saw ajji in a different light. From an orthodox hindu brahmin who never even drank water at anyone else's house, she transitioned to affectionately accepting my muslim husband, ate at our home...and as for her great grandson, she just couldn't do enough. From morning to night, she was ready to do anything he needed, from bathing him to endlessly rocking him to sleep, sitting still as a rock while he slept on her lap so I could get some rest, cooking all kinds of wonderfully healing foods for me...That's when I realised how deep and giving her love is. And of course, the fun revelation - when she danced in my cousin's baraat!

I remember when I did my BA in Economics, and later when I did my MBA, there were so many concepts I never understood and struggled through. Yet years later when I came across them, they seemed clear as crystal and as intuitive as breathing (not all concepts in eco, I confess!). Like wine, some concepts and some relationships too taste better with ageing, I guess.

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