“We used to call our naana (grand father) ‘Miyaan Jee’. He used to live with our maamu (uncle) and had breakfast at our home daily.”
My grandmother relived her childhood and told me (in response to my inquiry) about how her grandparents had been.
These days, I’m living a more-than-usual blessed life. Reason? My grandparents (naanu and nana abbu) are staying with us for a fortnight. Since I was their first grandchild, I’ve always been their favourite and the most pampered. I shared a very close relationship with my naanu in particular. Even when the whole world was against me (here the world includes my parents too), she stood there in my favour. Now-a-days we’re having a lot of heart-to-heart conversations where she tells me things which I doubt anyone in the world know about her. It has always been like this with me and her, sometimes even my mum and my aunts get jealous of how close we are 😛
I’m writing this all because yesterday I realised something to which all of you might relate. Last night we went to visit a very close relative. She’s usually a very jolly and lively person but yesterday she seemed in a depression. After probing her with various questions, my mum finally got her way. My aunt broke into tears and said, “I have spent last 15 years of my life giving non-stop service to my children. They spoil things, I forget; they misbehave, I forgive; they want something, they get it; they get worried, I get more worried; they are happy, I feel contented. My whole life revolves around them. But I’m sad that I couldn’t do all this for my parents. They did all that for me which I’m doing for my children now and I just couldn’t pay them back.”
I was hearing this conversation and was moved. I could recall a Chinese proverb that time, “To understand your parents’ love, bear your own children.”
I, like many people my age, was selfish and didn’t do anything, ANYTHING at all, for my parents. They were growing old but I was busy exploring my life’s phases. My friends, my happiness, my glooms, my successes, my failures, my, my, MY,…
I returned home with the sulking feeling and kept pondering over the same thing. I couldn’t forget the regret in my aunt’s voice. The feeling of a time lost, an opportunity missed was so evident. I kept thinking and fell asleep.
When I woke up in the morning, I knew the panacea. The only way to lessen this give-n-take imbalance was by giving more. I knew the answer now, “GIVING”. So I’ve started off with giving the cheapest and at the same time the most priceless thing ever, TIME. I know it is impossible to do as much for our parents and grandparents as they’ve done for us but we can at least start by doing our bit.
Now its three generations living under one roof and I’m going to make the most of this precious time!