Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Naani Ma

My Grandma passed away last week. She always made me feel special and was a fountain of love and care. Right from my childhood till last week----that is 33 yrs of my life....I always received unconditional love, care and useful advice from her. I used to meet her once in a year during our summer vacations and spend quality time with her along with a group of cousins during childhood. In retrospect I think I learnt many important lessons in my life from her and there is a part of her in my personality….. am penning them down:
1. Love multiplies manifold when divided amongst many many loved ones. She had six children; with their spouses and children …it actually used to be a houseful especially during our summer vacations. But she used to look after everyone, cook delicious food for us, sort out all our kid fights and tell us stories at night...which were usually based on Indian mythology. We used to look forward for summer vacations and delicious food.............those were the days…..
2. What you wear is important. No second chance to make the first impression.After growing up also she was always a part of my life..taking interest in my life, my friends, my college. She had a great sense of dressing up. She herself wore sarees and suits only and that too nothing flashy but very particular about the material....it was silk, chiffon, chinon, crepe for her and colors were usually pastels. Particularly fond of delicate embroidery and crochet borders.....she herself was very good at handwork. I still have some very beautiful crochet cardigans knitted by her. But she always encouraged her daughters and granddaughters to follow the modern trends. Since I had a small built she used to say I look the best in westerns, specially Jeans and trousers.
3. Your hair is the frame of your face. Another important aspect of grooming for her was hair and its styling. She always made an elegant bun till the time she could manage it herself. She made it a point that we...all cousins had neat and healthy hair...oiling was important. I still remember running away from her while she tried to tie my hair into pigtails in childhood.
4. Be a hostess with the mostest. Serving guests was her forte. Be it two or twenty....Food was always home cooked and served with lot of love with very creative menus. She had migrated from Pakistan (Peshawar) to India during Partition and her cooking had a very clear touch of North West Frontier cooking which I learnt formally during my Hotel Management course and training. Her Garam masala was always Home ground and curries were always finished with cream. And food was slow cooked on Dum for exquisite aroma. I have picked up some great recipes from her and will share them in this blog…
5. Good housekeeping-------------yes she never read the magazine but could have contributed to it if she knew how to read and write English. Her house was spic and span always. And whenever she was visiting our home we made special efforts to clean our cupboards etc...As she would start cleaning it herself if she found them untidy.
6. Look after your clothes. She had well preserved clothes dating from her wedding...pre1945:-)).Lovely parrot green suit which Kajol wore in DDLJ........She wore a similar thing for her wedding. Preserved beautifully till today...when we told her about the similarity...she said indifferently...oh they can't find new styles every year so they circulate the old trends again and again …so look after your clothes.
7. Home remedies are best remedies. She had a solution for stomach ache to hair fall all in her kitchen cupboards. No side effects,effect 100%.
8. Have calcium…lots of it. The Final and most important thing I learnt was always have food rich in Calcium to avoid Osteoporosis. She was bedridden for last five years…yes five years due to osteoporosis. Her vertebras were fused due to being brittle and her movement was restricted. I can imagine her plight being enclosed in room for days at end ………..it must have been a torment for a person who had spent an active life. But she took it all with a smile.
Miss you Nani!!