Thursday, December 13, 2007

The years gone by.........

This is part II of the tag by Dipali. A list of 10 things that I miss from the years gone by. Well the very thought makes me nostalgic-

I miss the quiet confidence that my mother exhibited when we were growing up. A frail women with failing eyes but sharp intelligence, she was a wonderful combination of polite manners and a steely heart. Her advice when heeded always fetched the desired result. I haven’t met anyone quite like her. She never demanded respect, she got it without asking. In short she commanded it.

I miss my mother in law who taught me to respect the woman in me. She’d defend me against my husband and shoo him off in matters that she strongly felt were best dealt with by women. She was the one who taught me that one had to speak out to be heard unlike my mother who believed that her silence said much more than her words. I am indeed lucky to have been groomed by two wonderful women.


I really and truly miss the jasmine flowers that were a part of me during my college days. I’d buy flowers every evening wear it after freshening up, remove it and carefully place them in a wet handkerchief and wear them to college the next day. The stuff that passes off for jasmines in Jampot has no fragrance and I don’t wear them at all.

I miss the days in my grandfather’s house when we cousins would gather during vacations and live like one big family. We did not have any of the modern means of entertainment yet we had a fulfilling time.

I miss the time when my children were in their primary school and trusted me to solve their little problems. The attitude was ‘if mom is around things would be okay.’ Now that they’ve realize that mommy is not the super woman they thought she was, I feel a wee bit unwanted and under utilized. I guess this is natural but I miss it all the same.

I miss not having my daughters around to pitch in and help where ever possible. I have this habit of starting something, remembering something else and finally feeling frustrated with a number of chores in hand, all half done. I’ve always had them taking over and relieving me of the monotony of house keeping. Nowadays I make do with things that are absolutely essential since I know that no one is going to take over from where I left.

Strangely I miss the time when money was short and every little pleasure was a luxury. We then had something to look forward to and we appreciated the value of every penny spent. Today my affordability has increased but the pleasure is gone. With limited money we’d think of the needs of each member of our family first and place ourselves last. But we never felt deprived or wanting. I cannot understand this paradoxical turn that my life has taken.

I miss the mountains; I mean the Nilgiri hills where I spent 4 years of my life in a boarding school. Those were the formative years that made me what I am today. I had led a very protected life till then but it was there that I learnt the meaning of ‘survival of the fittest’ and peaceful co existence. A stint in the hostel taught me more than what I could have ever learnt at home.

As a child we’d sleep outdoors on hot summer nights and awaken to the chirps and cooing of innumerable birds. Strangely I seem to miss their melodious sounds when I go for my morning walk. Where have all the birds gone/ And what have we done to our environment? The ecological balance, I am afraid, has been badly disturbed And the consequences are not going to be good.

Since this is part II of an earlier tag I ask the same group to carry it forward.

15 comments:

chakli said...

I can relate to many of things you have mentioned. You have inspired me to write a post on this topic. Thanks hip hop grandmom!

Preethi said...

oh hhg this was so beautiful.... i was touched by the beauty of every one of the things you reminiced... wish you every joy in life...

Na.Su.Krishnan said...

I could imagine a black haired young girl going to college wearing jasmine. I could also imagine an elderly lady in front of the computer typing her lifes memories(with her index finger alone).

Grandmom.U r sweet!

Sumana said...

Hello HHG, very well written blog. Those small sweet things in life bring such big pleasures in life like the jasmine, chirping birds and the penny spent well. It is nice to hear that there are still such staunch lovers of nature and its simple melodies.

Usha said...

Nostalgic - I miss most of those things too.Saving up jasmines for the next day - have done it too. Never known hostel life.
Lovely post.and I have done it already . :) ( 4 in one!)

Serendipity said...

Well , you will ALWAYS be wanted here HHG , I will always come back for more :)

And you are jesht too damn yemmy :)

Hip Grandma said...

chakli:how do I get to read your post?-((

Preethi:thanks and wish you the same.We are all entitled to good times aren't we?

NSK:Nice of you to say that.thanks.

sumana:My friend once made an observation that vultures and eagles have disappeared because very tall trees where they perch are no longer there.the ecological pyramid is getting skewed.So sad.


usha:That's not fair.4 in 1 is too much.Must make up for it in whatever way you can.

serendipity:thanks for making me feel wanted.and where has altoid disappear.she hasn't responded to my tag offer.

Joy said...

HHG, A wonderful post. You know reading your posts, I can imagine the wonderful person you are. Hopefully, I would get a chance to meet you sometime.

Please do compile all these into a book. It would be a great read.

I remember when very very young, if there was a blackout, I have slept outside. But this was not for long as terrorism engulfed India and we understood fear and safety. In my primary school, I used to have lunch outside with my friends and I remember we had to save our lunches from eagles that used to hover above. I didn't realise that they are not around because we are cutting all the tall trees where they found their abode.

Just Jen said...

beautiful post...i'm still wondering about the hostel part though.....there's a mystery past in that somewhere...i'm sure of it!

Sue said...

Do your kids have kids of their own? Then they definitely need you!

My respect for my own mother is growing daily. Although I'm sure I was a nice, quiet, gentle child and nothing like any Bhablets, I still think it's amazing my mother brought up two kids.

Thinking aloud said...

I was struck by these lines...

**I miss the time when money was short and every little pleasure was a luxury.** I remember those days too...

I love reading your posts...they make me think and ponder!!!

I have blogrolled you...hope its ok?

Hip Grandma said...

joy:I have already hinted that I am an easy going person.Compilation of my posts into a book requires a lot of organization and I don't feel upto it.I may do it one day.But not yet.Thanks anyway for the suggestion.

just jen:No mystery there.I was so very naive that other boarders initially took a lot of advantage of me.In about 6 months time I recognized areas where I stood apart and learnt to survive.A protected Tambram girl does feel like fish out of water among Anglo Indianstheir way of looking at things was so different that I felt a misfit.And there was the inedible food to adjust to.But it also made me the person I am today.

sue:oh yes my daughters have a daughter each and I know that I need their company as much as they need mine.But bringing up children is a different experience these days.

thinking aloud:The joy of planning is no longer there and festivals are like any other day.I don't find it good.You can blogroll me and I need to do so too.I meant to include a good number of you.will do it soon.

Prats said...

beautiful post this one...Specially loved the way you've topped off two women who are always in the limelight for some reasong or the other..
And kids will always be kids...i'm sure they still want you...but they don't express it..they mightb e technically brighter, but emotionally, they always want their momma....I still do :(, even if it means she'll call and say "I haven't spoken to u the whole day! "

Hip Grandma said...

prats:nice to hear your version of mother/daughter equation.I too know that my children need me as much as i need them.just pulling their legs expecting to hear it from them.they are too smart to be trapped.

dipali said...

Wonderful post, HHG.I especially loved the way you wrote about your mother and mother-in-law.
I hope my DIL, whenever I have one, feels so positively about me too:)
Also, having little money but tremendous pleasure in each little luxury- it really brings back memories. Looking forward to meeting you in Kolkata:)