The computer on which I do all my work sits on one corner of our drawing cum dining room. This room opens out to a bed room currently occupied by my father. When he exits the room, he cannot fail to see the corner where the computer is located and who is using it.
Sometimes, when some major work is needed to be done, our son Ranjan, uses this computer when his laptop is inadequate for the purpose.
I have been noticing that whenever Ranjan uses the computer, and if my father happens to come out of his room, he will directly go to that corner, stand behind the chair and place his hands on Ranjan’s shoulders from behind and make some innocuous conversation for a few minutes with him and go about doing whatever he set out to do in the first place. This is nice to see as my father is not very demonstrative and it is touching to see this happen time and again. This happened again this morning and I started musing about the relationship between them.
Ranjan is the first grandchild for my parenets. 37 years ago when Ranjan was a baby, my father on his way back from work would make a detour and stop by my apartment and pick up Ranjan and take him away to his home a couple of kilometers away. I would get a telephone call to this effect at my office and would then organize an evening out for me and Urmeela downtown. Later, on our way back home, we would stop by at my parents’ place to pick up Ranjan. We would inevitably see Ranjan fast asleep on my father’s chest, while the latter would be lying down prone on a divan. My father too would be half asleep but would be patting Ranjan on his back and murmuring some nursery rhyme or the other like Ba ba blacksheep, have you any wool or Jack and Jill went down the hill. We would hate to disturb the peaceful sight but we would and with much reluctance, my father would part with Ranjan.
Almost four decades later, the bonding between them is still very strong and both of them indulge each other quite shamelessly. Although he does not make a song and dance about it, I am sure that my father is very happy that Ranjan is living with us. He is happiest when he could sit down for a meal with Ranjan, which is rare.
We have a saw in India in almost all our languages that says that the interest is far more appealing than the capital, meaning that the grandchild is far more appealing than the children. If proof was needed for this, you simply have to see the two of them together. We recently had our nephew Simon come over from the UK and spend some time with us. The same thing could be seen and I understand from my siblings that with all the grandchildren he is a softy. We used to call our father Tiger, when we were small, and leave it to your imagination to understand why!
One of my brothers and my sister are both grandparents, and the way they go on about their grandchildren can drive others nuts. I am yet to experience this emotion but I am assured by these two, that I am likely to be more mushy than they.
Since this topic is about grandparents, I dug up something that came to me in a forwarded mail a long time ago. Grandparents seen from the eyes of grandchildren and reproduce it below. I hope that you enjoy it.
WHAT IS A GRANDPARENT?
(Taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds)
Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own. They like other people’s.
A grandfather is a man, & a grandmother is a lady!
Grandparents don’t have to do anything except be there when we come to see them. They are so old they shouldn’t play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the shops and give us money. When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars. They show us and talk to us about the colors of the flowers and also why we shouldn’t step on ‘cracks.’ They don’t say, ‘Hurry up.’
Usually grandmothers are fat but not too fat to tie your shoes.
They wear glasses and funny underwear. They can take their teeth and gums out.
Grandparents don’t have to be smart. They have to answer questions like ‘Why isn’t God married?’ and ‘How come dogs chase cats?’ When they read to us, they don’t skip. They don’t mind if we ask for the same story over again.
Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don’t have television because they are the only grownups who like to spend time with us. They know we should have snack time before bed time, and they say prayers with us and kiss us even when we’ve acted bad.
A 6-YEAR-OLD WAS ASKED WHERE HIS GRANDMA LIVED. ”OH,” HE SAID, ”SHE LIVES AT THE AIRPORT, AND WHEN WE WANT HER, WE JUST GO GET HER. THEN WHEN WE’RE DONE HAVING HER VISIT, WE TAKE HER BACK TO THE AIRPORT.”
GRANDPA IS THE SMARTEST MAN ON EARTH! HE TEACHES ME GOOD THINGS, BUT I DON’T GET TO SEE HIM ENOUGH TO GET AS SMART AS HIM!
It’s funny when they bend over; you hear gas leaks, and they blame their dog.
How about some nice mushy comments from all those grandparents out there?