My maternal grandmother, “Mamma” as we fondly addressed her, was one fiery, strong woman. She was an independent woman, and though feminism wasn’t much talked about in those days, I now know she was one. She held her head high in the toughest situations life put her into. I remember how she took charge of Grandpa’s garage when he met with an accident that left him immobilized for a long time. I never really looked out for any role models beyond my home, because I always had two feisty women – Mamma, and the daughter she brought up, my mother  – to look up to. My sister and me, we were always treated at par with boys…and both of them made sure we learnt everything that was in our reach!
Mamma had been an integral part of my childhood…and was the coolest granny one could ever have!

It’s 31st May today. My granny was born on this day. It’s her 75th Birth Anniversary and if she were here with us, we’d indeed make this day memorable. I wanted to make this day special even otherwise, which is why I wrote this letter…




It’s been three years since you left us. We carried on with our lives (exactly the way you would have wanted us to), but let me confess – Your loss has created this void in our lives and still, even after three years, it’s hard to believe that you’re not here, with us. And in every little thing that I do, all I miss you a lot and wish you were here with me….

I just wanted you to know that…..

I wish you were here to see how I carefully pick out vegetables – following the exact tips that you gave me:
Tomatoes – Firm, red and not spotted, Potatoes – Never pick the ones that are slightly greenish, Onions – press the head and don’t pick it if it’s soft….and so many others…I will never forget.

I miss those “Information exchange” evening walks the both of us had. You’d tell me the medicinal usage of every plant and tree that we passed by. Till today, I remember that the tree around the corner on the opposite road is used to treat kidney stones and the one five buildings away cures arthritis…In return, the naive me, would keep chattering about all the stuff that would happen in school or college – telling you about all my friends who had boyfriends or girlfriends in class. Each time you’d listen patiently (even when it was a repeat telecast) and then in the end, mischievously grin and say ,” When you have a boyfriend, tell me first, okay?”
….Of course, you would be the first person to know….

I wish you were here to see me put up the Christmas Star (and the lightings also) confidently, all by myself. And also to watch the fun when the other boys in the society fumbled with the wires and bulbs! If only, like me, you would be the one who taught them how to do it… When I do it effortlessly, I realise how well you had taught me to do it.

I wish you were here to see the perfectly round, soft chapatis that I roll up now. Unlike the khaakras and maps of countries that I’d make when you were around, I’ve finally mastered the art of making them – exactly like you taught me to do – Yes mamma, I roll the folded triangles into perfect circles…
If only you’d be here to relish them…

I miss that chilled passenger in the back seat of the car when I was learning to drive. Yeah no matter how much I messed up with the gears and forgot to press down the clutch while changing gears, it was always pacifying to watch you smiling from the backseat. That proud look you’d give every passer-by that said – “Look, my third generation is driving!!”
And when I got that panic attack of not wanting to take up driving again, those words of yours still ring in my ears… ”I learnt to drive in those days, back in the 1960’s. Your mom did too. It runs in your blood, girl – now get back in there and start driving!” ( And man, did I dare not do it!!)

I miss you whenever I put on my socks the wrong way ( yeah I still do it sometimes). I remember how when in 4th standard, we rejoiced when I finally learnt to put on socks the right way! Until then, you would always be the one to put them on for me…

I miss that lip-smacking pudding you’d prepare –and even though mom follows the exact same recipe, it never tastes the same….

I wish I’d learnt to climb trees when you were coaxing me to. I never paid heed after a few failed attempts and now when the mangoes at the top of tree go beyond the reach of my stick, I always regret not listening to you…

I miss you when the White Lilies bloom…your favourite colour and favourite flower…I still can recollect how they didn’t bloom for three years despite the tending you gave them and I also remember the mini-party we had when four stalks budded and bloomed at a time! And yes, don’t worry, Mamma, your garden is being taken care of!

I miss those Work-days we had…when I was your assistant! “Go get the spanner! Bring the box of screws! Find a bolt matching this screw….Hammer this nail into the wall…” If today, I’m well versed with the names and uses of every tool, it’s only because of you…

I miss that lullaby you’d sing to me, whenever I was upset and put my head onto your lap…You knew I’d grown big enough for you to sing me that lullaby…But you also knew it was that very lullaby that would calm me down put me to sleep..

I miss how you’d keep all sorts of names for the hard-board boxes, wrappers, coloured papers that I’d save back for my art work…and how you’d  stop anyone who wanted to throw away my box of “crap” saying, “It’ll break her heart. Keep it back”

I wish you were here today….to see that I have my own blog. You were always a fan of any little thing I wrote – be it that essay on ‘My Summer Vacation’ or that childish poem on ‘Baarish’. 354 people follow my blog, Mamma…I wish I could see your proud face…

I miss you a lot. And I know you were already aware how much I’d miss you in your absence, which is why you had prepared me in so many ways – some which I cannot even imagine…And yes, I’m not troubling Ma too much…and I am following all the instructions you’d given me and will always do…

I also want to say something I never said to you while you were with us…A heartfelt Thank you. Inspite of everything, you made our childhood worth remembering….you were and will always be my Superwoman. ❤


Lots and lots of love,
Your grand-daughter.

6 thoughts on “Mamma…..

  1. She is there for you my dear…. she is looking down on you from heaven.. watching you growing into a beautiful woman inside out… 🙂


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