Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Aachi...! (Grandma...!)

As I started to write this blog, I recalled one of my childhood favorite poems. It starts like this, "oru nooru vayadhana karuppu nilave... (Hey, one hundred year old black moon...)" and goes for about 30-40 lines. My Grandma didn't hit 100 but she is in her early 90s. Recently I went to see her with my parents and my mind didn't stop tapping memories of my golden days with her.

Home sweetest home
The first house in that street has two big green pillars on the front and has a conflicting blue painted wooden door with vertical iron-clad painted in silver. There are 6 stairs to get inside this conventionally built big house. Once entered, you will end up in the living room and will not miss the unimaginably huge spare door with a metallic handle at the center which we used to close at night.

Most of my grandpa's time had been spent in the living room by chatting with friends and relatives, taking nap, reading newspaper, bible and doing some accounts. Most of my grandma's time had been spent in the kitchen preparing traditional meals for everybody.

She was the woman of the house
Her hair was all gray. Her teeth were predominately gone. Her bones were stiff strong. Her mind was too shrewd. Her love was dominant. Her hospitality was incomparable.

She was independent. She actively orbited around the house. She woke up/went to bed early. She prayed every morning. She put naamam in her forehead. She wore hakoba white blouse. She had a money bag (surukku pai) hanging on her waist. She had guests one after the other. She was addictive to betel leaf. She was the woman of the house.

She was the best cook
Her days started by preparing black coffee, then heavy breakfast, later delicious lunch, traditional snack after a nap and ended with light dinner. She cooked our traditional paratha from the scratch. She made scrumptious mutton and fish curry. Nothing can beat her eggplant puzhi curry, yellu urundai (sesame seed ball), karupatti paasi payaru (sweet green gram).

She had scheduled the meal as idli/dosa on Mondays/Tuesdays, poori on Wednesdays, mutton/fish on Thursdays, purely vegetarian on Fridays, paratha on Saturdays and no meat on Sundays. Idiyappam, aapam, puttu, aval are some of her other outdid. She was the best cook.

She is my adoring Grandma
She caught lizards and cockroaches with bare hand. She painted all our wicker chairs in green to prevent bugs. She made quilts from wasted/unused clothes. She protected me from my brother's flirty friends by never letting them inside our house. She made us help her making kuzh vathal, cleaning up groundnuts, green chilli and grinding coconut in ammi (traditional grinding stone).

She played pallang guzhi, thaya kattai at her leisure. She kisses and wipes her saliva from cheeks. She is my adoring Grandma.