To Nana. Because Silence Never Worked For Us.

19 Oct

I tried to celebrate your birthday quietly. To hug you to myself and cradle your memories and bask in my fortune at being loved by you. It was a silent day, the hours bristling with things unsaid, and aside from an oblique mention to the Boy and a brisk, awkward acknowledgement to Dad, I bent inward and let you incubate in me.

But now I want the world to know. You, the most beautiful of women. You, of the grey eyes, porcelain skin and sparkling wit. Your heart larger than your slender gold-bangled hands that patted me to sleep each night. Your temper shorter than your bobbed hair. Your eagerness to devour the world. To engulf me in hugs. To shower “dearies” on my emaciated soul. Your laughter, liberation and military order. And midget nail scissors wielded compulsively. Your sharp mind slipping away into a fog of grey. Your sprightly legs that exhausted us. The parchment skin that contained our history. The flannel blanket you laid for me nightly. Your belief I was leaving forever.  And then, turning the tables and slipping away before I could burst out from behind the door, laughing “Here I am!”

You left. Just like that. Because I wasn’t little anymore? Because I had parents? Because you had taught me all? Because you thought I was ready?

Now I know what I must do. And when she is born, my beloved soul, you shall have your answer. Or perhaps you already do. And it is I who must await mine.

11 Responses to “To Nana. Because Silence Never Worked For Us.”

  1. dam-dee-doo October 20, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    pss pss…she says she’ll be here as your daughter.

  2. Aunty G. October 20, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    Nanas are forever
    Forget ’em we’ll never
    They taught us so much
    We’ll remember their touch
    E’en when we teach our granddaughters to be so clever!

  3. Aunty G. October 20, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    Forgive me, OJ
    For this prolonged delay
    But these eight in a row
    Will go far to show
    I love you, and, i visited EVERY day!

  4. sukanya October 21, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. I did not have a deep relationship with both my gmom’s and i become wistful when I read posts like this one. It confirms I missed out on something beautiful.

    You are blessed OJ. Happy Birthday to the magnificent Nana.

  5. Revathy October 23, 2011 at 10:20 pm #


  6. dipali October 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Big hugs, and happy birthday to your Nana, wherever she may be.

  7. Orange Jammies October 31, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    dam-dee-do: She told you that, really? 🙂

    Aunty G: Aww, Aunty G,
    You sure do love me,
    You’re the best kind of friend,
    For even I don’t attend,
    To this blog daily–oopsie! 😦

    sukanya: Not everyone has every single beautiful relationship there is to have. Maybe you got lucky where I didn’t. 🙂

    Revathy: Hug back!

    dipali: To you too–and thanks.

  8. Manju Nair November 8, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    I wish I visited more often OJ, an email answering your queries about princess A, lies half written in my draft folder…..time I think I have in plenty – prioritising is what I am not doing well enough. I had the same relationship with my grandma, 14 years after she left us I still miss her so much. She will always be the most beautiful person I have known and the one who loved me the most beautifully – thank you for writing this for both of us [for so it seems] 🙂

  9. Orange Jammies November 12, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    Manju: Hey you. 🙂 Don’t feel compelled. Just act on what feels good to you in the moment. Really. Hugs.

  10. rajni December 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    I was very close to my Nana too although we lived in Mumbai & she in Goa.
    I always looked forward to summer vacations with her.She became a widow at the relatively young age of 43 but her zest for life never died.She was a marvellous cook without any formal training & could whip up the most mouthwatering Goan dishes including the toughest deserts with ease.Sadly all those wonderful recipes went with her.She died when I was in my final year at Engineering college & I wish I could have spent more time with her.The day she died I was restless all night before we got that dreaded phone call.I miss her tremendously.But whenever I’m down & depressed I think of her & feel her comforting presence.I can’t explain it but I know she’s there as I’m sure your Nana is too.(Hugs)

  11. Orange Jammies December 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    Rajni: Thanks for sharing and for your thought. I feel a special bond with folks who have been close to their grandmas. It’s fascinating to watch all your similarities, one generation removed.

Here's a bar of chocolate. Now talk to me. :)

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