Growing Up With The Grandparents

I wish the grandparents a happy golden jubilee anniversary.

Ma insisted I call her Naniji. Said it was only fair that I show some respect. Dropping the ji after Nani was one of my first acts of defiance as an adolescent.

It was at a busy street in Bandra. I was calling out to Nani, who was standing out at the other side of the road, and suddenly the “ji” became so cumbersome. Ma, being Ma, reprimanded me even then, on the middle of the road. But by then I had already decided that Nani sounded much nicer.

It is Nani’s controlled voice that I want to hear each time I dial the landline at home. And it’s always a bit of a disappointment when I come home early only to learn that she is yet to return from her evening walk. And she would come, her arms laden with goodies. Farsan, dessert or a new accessory. I just have to mention my favorites to her. And she will procure them for me.

Nanaji, on the other hand, remained Nanaji. Pampering me in equal measure. I remember making a birthday card for him twenty-odd years ago and insisting that I’d give it to him only once he handed me a return gift that evening. They gifted me a pair of earrings that night.

Our annual trips to Jaipur were the highlights of my early years. Nanaji would patiently await my arrival at the airport while Nani would prepare my favorite dishes at home. And for that one month those few years, I had their undivided attention. Feeding me, placating me, spoiling me rotten…Continue reading

*First published on Parentous.

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