Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Memories........... a whole lot of them!

I think I've taken a long enough break and can start writing again. The past 6 weeks have been as hectic as enjoyable. Grandson Kapil was seen running all over the house and we wondered whether he ever walked. Literally on his toes as one would say. I truly thought of ITW and wondered how she coped with twin boys. My grandkids born two years apart need to be watched all the time and though the daughter who is older has calmed down, she can be upto all sorts of pranks when in her younger brother's company! I relived the time when my children were small and returning to an empty house after saying goodbye to them at Madurai was painful.

I tend to be sentimental after my children visit me. But I could not help comparing their visits to our own to my grandfather's place in Gobichettipalayam. those were days when we ran wild. My grandfather was a patient man. No rules were imposed and we ate and played to our heart's content. Those were days without TV and a movie at a local theatre was a treat for us kids. We'd hire a bullock cart and to maintain balance we'd sit in two rows facing each other.The youngest among us would sit at the rear end, feet dangling outside. I remember sleeping off in the theatre once and being woken up after the movie got over. We had a room allotted for the ripening of mangoes. Hay was spread out on the floor and half ripe mangoes would be placed on it. We'd get a mango each after lunch and dinner. Our competition would be to see who finished last and I inevitably won being a slow eater.

We took turns to bathe in the bathroom and who bathed first was a major contraversy. We'd line up in front of the bathroom towel and change of clothes in hand. We'd let in a favorite cousin through a side door after bathing, n ever mind if at least four others waited in front of the main door!

Then there are memories of my grandfather plucking flowers while chanting Vishnu Sahastranamam and one of us running to a store nearby to fetch plantains of a particular variety to be offered during the evening prayers. Whatever work one did, we always assembled in the pooja room when camphor was lit and the bell starting ringing announcing the end of the prayer session.

There are memories of the board games we played and the quarrels that followed with each one accusing the others of foul play and finally the ghost stories/stories that were oft repeated but we never ever got bored of listening over and over again. Finally we slept huddled up in the hall that doubled up for a bedroom at night. we formed groups according to our age and had many a secret to share and we spoke in whispers till our mothers admonished us and we rolled over on the floor finally drifting off to sleep.

I often wonder whether my grandkids would ever have such memories of their vacations at my place. They are too small now but will they at a later stage look forward to visiting us the way we did? Times have changed and it is no longer safe to let children run wild. Health is a major concern and mineral water replaces water from the well and computer games have taken over from games like 'hide and seek' and hop scotch. I'd be disappointed if my grandkids did not find their vacations to India interesting something to look forward to. There is one thing that hasn't changed and that is chilhood. So perhaps there is no need to fret. They may find different reasons to want to come to us but they will look forward to it all the same.

22 comments:

hillgrandmom said...

I too wonder HHG, what my grandkid(not yet kids) will feel about coming here. But then it is still fairly safe to play about outside and I hope after city life, it will be fun to be outside.

Renu said...

your memories always remind me of my childhood:)
Kids will always remember thier grand paremts, only the reasons xchange with time:)

Artnavy said...

a post from you after a very long time

i used to love being at my paati's place too- the games, the food, the attention. . .

Just Like That said...

Your memories so remind me of my childhood too... :-) those days had a charm all their own that these days sorely lack. Sometimes I think we were much better off without TV and computers and nuclear families. Sigh!

vishesh said...

oh lol I like listening to these real stories...my grandpa has a lot of stories to tell us about those wonderful days :P

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preetischronicle said...

They will always love to come visit you and they too will have fond memories.

Usha said...

I feel the same way too _ I feel bad that my grandchildren will not have memories of an extended family and several aunts and cousins - but I hope I can make up for it by being friends with them and sharing with them in a way my grandparents never did. All I remember of my grandmoms is being constantly shoo ed away so that we didn't defile their Madi. Or being asked to follow several customs with the only explanation : "that is the way things are done."

Priyanka said...

Thats such a beautiful post. It reminded me of my childhood memories at my grandparent's place in Karnataka. Esp. the mangoes part. In our village, we had to shoo off the monkeys from eating our mangoes, but the monkeys there were so courageous. They literally walked into our kitchen and sat on our dining table relishing the fruit. Fun days! :)
BTW, my hubby has done his bachelors at Gobi. I had been there during our last India trip, beautiful place!

Hip Grandma said...

hillg'mom:I like to believe that my g'kids would still find reasons to come to us and have fun but I am not so sure.Expectations are different and parents are more cautious unlike our times when mothers did not bother abt who attended to our needs.BTW why don't you invite me to view your blog?I feel sooo left out.

priyanka:was your husband from Gobi?shake hands with him on my behalf.I can completely relate to your list of qualities you appreciate about him.Gobi boys are a caring lot!

renu:Aapke muh me ghee shakkar.I only say Amen.

artnavy:At my age I remember my maternal grandfather and the fun time we had during holidays.you are so much younger and it is but natural to have fond memories.

JLT:Tv has put an end to socializing and that is really sad.computer/video games are also a major distraction but with grandparents opting to lead their independant lives parents have no other option.But parents should plan outings and encourage children to play in the open whenever possible.

vishesh; make the most of your grandpa's company.It is bound to help you in dealing with life at a later stage.

hock:thanks.

preetischronicle;first time here?i hope your words come true.I don't want it any other way.

usha:my dad's mom was constantly shooing off my friends and they were careful not to come when she was awake and seated in the balcony.But even that was fun. we did a lot of things just to annoy her.

Hip Grandma said...

priyanka:give your husband a handshake from me.I now understand why he has those adorable qualities mentioned by you in your tag.Gobi boys make wonderful husbands!

IBH said...

welcoem back HHGm :)

Sometimes I wish I had such memories..but honestly and sadly i dont have any such sweet memories with grandmoms...coz never had one..the one i had..never really made us feel this way that way you are making uyr grandkids feel :)

anyways...sad notes apart...truly good to see u back on blogosphere...

Suma said...

so nice to see a post from you and a lovely one, i must say

This brought back so many memories of holidays spent plucking mangoes, running in fields and best of all grandparents.
as for my kids even though they have extremely loving gparents on both sides, the holidays are spent in metros...the village/small town ambience has a charm of its own!

Hip Grandma said...

IBH:Don't fret abt what you don't have.We all have good and bad memories but one should try to concentrate on the good ones and keep out the bad ones.and when dealing with the next generation let us make life memorable for them.At least that portion is in our hands.

suma:I agree. Small towns are a better destination for vacations.But metro life is exciting too though commuting can be a pain.my grand daughter Megha found it funny that an outing with my husband on a two wheeler lasted for just 15 minutes.In the US the nearest store is 5 miles away and an evening out meant at least 2 hours away from home!

Monika said...

oh i know what u mean by running all over... sometimes i have to plead with ojas to sit for 1 min ;)

and memories with grandparents are always the best

Smitha said...

HHG, This post was so sweet! It reminded me of all my vacations when we were little, when all of us cousins used to gather in Kerala during our summer vacations.. I think those days, without TV and internet was far more fun! You brought back loads of memories - thank you!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Kids will always want to spend their time with their grand parents ... my daughters loves her grand parents and is ready any day / time of the year to visit her favourite place. :)

Hip Grandma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hip Grandma said...

Monika:Did we have so much running around to do when our kids were small? I don't seem to remember.But then things like rearing kids are easier in a joint family.

Smitha:yeah, i think thise days were the best in my life.

CA;welcome here tho' I've read your comments in Usha's blog and you are not actually a newcomer.Grandparents too wait for the time when grandkids visit them.I can vouch for that.

April 04, 2009 7:43 PM

Mampi said...

Welcome back.

You were missed.

venky said...

Not fair nani - you have come back from your sabbatical and didnt bother to reply to my mail :-(

hope you have got it else would refwd the same.

Great to see you back...

Vani said...

amazing post.i wish i was born in ur times. Also not every tam bram family is so united.. am a tam bram myself and since my mom had differences with aunts and her bros .we never had a good relation :-(so missed out on the cousins having fun together