There was a picture hung by the wall of by old countryside home, it was a gray scale picture of three young girls and a grandmother. At first I wondered who they would be and I kept until one day when I asked my grandfather who those girls were? He held me up in his arms and pointing to the picture with other hand. He told me that, it was my mother and her sisters. I was so shocked for till then I definitely believed that they were born that way and they will remain so for all eternity. If I recall my grandpa’s version of the story I cried, but mind you, I never accepted his claims what so ever.
Years later I came in terms with my mother and her sister who are so big now being so little then, The thing that still caught my attention every time I looked at that picture is old lady in the picture with silver hair and a grandeur that was there in her face. Her stance had a stature that I seldom saw in people then and before. By the time I procured all the courage to ask who she was it was then again years later. This time I asked my grandpa who would be by then asked all kind of stupid questions by me, who she was. And He said she was a grandmother and I was confused. I already had one grandmother and extended him the same enquiry with an ‘innocent smile’ (in his words). He smiled and said of course you have but she was my mother grandmother so my great grandmother she was!
From then own I heard a million wonderful stories of her and her life, she was never a stereotype and she was always a person I grew up to respect. I never knew her and she was long gone the time I was born. But still I loved her and I loved the picture of hers. There was definitely something special about her and it was evident in the picture. My mother told me many wonderful memories of her’s. She told me of her times with her grandma and how wonderful a person she was. All these stories I used to create for myself the great grandmother who was truly great for me by them. Great as in life as in day dreams she was.
Born in the dark times to a wealthy aristocratic family, she was never the one for stereotypes. When education and profession eluded women, she showed the courage to step up and break down the barriers. She learned and exceled and then became a teacher, the first one from anywhere in her area. But that was not all, my mother always told me how she used to manage her carrier and the large paddy fields she inherited and all her children all alone. She was the most respected one of her lands and the local folks used to come to her for permission. She loved her men as they loved and respected her back.
My mother used to tell whenever gypsises came to the lands near hers they would come ask her permission before they would go anywhere. This is just one among the many stories I heard of my great grandmother. There is one another story that I always loved. My aunt told me once that whenever they went to hers for the summer breaks she would have by then plucked all the mangos in her plantation and hid it neatly under the hay stacks so that they would be ripe and the three of them would go scavenger hunting for mangoes.
I do wish I was there to witness it all. Bound in these concrete jungles of modern times, these little good times are for memories alone and any one who dares to dream of it as anything else is bound to disappointment as always. Those are the good time that will never be back upon us and they are special people who will be born once and if u missed them then you missed them. There is no going back. Yet I wish that was not true.