I often take selfies with her. I click her pictures too. I record the conversations I have with her. I listen them and it makes me laugh. Sometimes it often makes me cry. I look deeply into her eyes and then “ I Rise Up In Love ” with her again and again.
She looks like me,her chinky eyes, tiny nose and when I go over her past photographs, she is far beautiful than me or my sisters and my aunts. Her pure heart reflects in her face making her look so bright even now in her 80s. She is Padma, my lovely Grandma (Boju).She has marched ahead her youthful past: from being a little girl to a young woman, a mother to her eight children and now a grandma to all the present generation.
I remember my Grandpapa saying, how she looked beautiful. Those days didn’t have too many cosmetics as now, still she would apply a red lipstick which is still her favourite and a red bindi on her forehead. She isn’t literate but eighty years of experience did make her educated. The lead figure in our family,she has every solution to small and big problems. The first doctor of our family, before we visit a real doctor because she carefully recognises local plants and herbs and is always ready with the remedy. In short, she is the Hero, a superhero indeed.
She is no longer young but the youthful vibrance still vibrates the whole house. She has taught us things beyond books and arts.
She has aged with time and space. When I hold her hand I feel her loose thin skin with her blue channel of nerves finely visible and she shows me the marks, “Look this is the mark of the wound after the saline was injected”. Then I ask her,“Did it hurt?”and she says,“Now it doesn’t”. Lately did I notice the new piercing in her ears because the old one drooped as her skin sagged. I made a good joke about it that made her laugh. I was small when I first encountered her being severely sick and it affected a little. But now it is different and difficult as well. As she grew old sickness embraced her. This is what happens as you attain maturity and lose your Youth.
When me or my sisters become lazy to work, Boju is there with her sharp proverbs. I wonder how she remembers them all. And her famous line as adopted by my father’s generation of course is “ when we were of your age, we could catch a flying bird,hmmmm”.
My grandma is now in her childish phase and when I show her the photographs, she says , “ am I looking good?” She asks us to look at her and says,“ Mo asti ko bhanda ghateko chu?” ( Have I become weaker than before?). And she becomes happy when we tell that she looks absolutely healthy. And her nose do smile when we tease her saying,” why are you so beautiful Boju?”
Never does my Grandma mention about her Wrinkles or lines in her face. Never does she feel unhappy about her ascending age that leaves a mark in her face one after the other, her bones slowly popping out which can be felt. And she is always there to kiss in our cheeks saying ,“ my granddaughters are so beautiful. Once show me a dance like Katrina which she pronounces Kathrna”. And making us dance her lips quivers as we shake our hips until we give her a support to show some of her movements. After all she is in her grand youth.