Flashback – Of Grandmothers and Adieus….

A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend

– Unknown

Whenever there is a mention of grandparents, there is mostly a reverence attached to it. Along with the reverence, are the reminiscences of warmth, various fragrances, heaps of wisdom, and unbridled laughter. Grandmothers are special, what with their cooking and knitting, and loving care. My maternal and paternal grandmothers find mention in many other articles on my blog.

I am as lucky as one gets when there is a chance to known both your grandmothers and learn many valuable life lessons from them.

My paternal grandmother, my daadi, who we lovingly called Beeji, was very old and wise. She is said to be 102 at the time of her passing. She never went to school and was never formally educated. She was self-taught and learned to read Hindi on her own and write too. She always signed her name in all legal documents. I always saw her either reading her Shrimad Bhagavad Gita in the mornings or her weekly Hindi newspaper during the day. She took care of the entire household comprising seven sons, two daughters and their families. She educated all her children to excel in life and all this she did single-handedly. The family lost my grandfather to diabetes when he was only in his fifties. At the time, only my eldest uncle was married, and the younger ones were studying. My Beeji had the strength that inspired me in my life’s journey. She did a remarkable job of raising all her children and managing the entire family successfully.

Not only was she aware of the current affairs, but she also took an avid interest in all political and social family discussions. Sometimes, she watched movies on television with me. I remember her liking Hindi film star Rajesh Khanna, especially in his movie ‘Bawarchi’, and she found him a decent actor. I am sure that my brother would remember all the jokes he would crack and make her laugh.

She always said, “never forget a good deed and the doer”. In my darkest hour, she was there with me sitting quietly for days and praying. Looking back, I know that her presence next to me helped. Till the very end, she could walk on her own. Small stature and a great personality, she was my rock.

My maternal grandmother, my naani, is not much different from my Beeji. A strong woman, she raised her family of five daughters and one son with an iron fist. Unlike my daadi, she was well-educated. She went to NCC and did rifle-training. She was a school teacher. She learned to tailor and could stitch men’s suit too. In the 1930s, she was the first in her district to go to a hostel for advance studies. Taking inspiration from her and her father, more families started sending their daughters from their village for further studies. She took ‘diksha’ in her sixties and studied the scriptures in detail. For the last four decades, she has dedicated her life in the service of the Supreme Lord. She has inspired others in the family, which include her eldest daughter (my mom), her only son and his wife (my uncle and aunt), to follow the same path. More than a decade ago, my aunt, followed by my uncle left their coveted careers as a doctor and departmental chief of a medical college, and an engineer and a successful businessman, respectively, in His devotion. My naani is still active and independent and is the thread that strings my maternal family together.


(My naani and beeji in the same frame…taken almost two decades ago…)

I like to think that I inherited many personality traits from both my grannies. They are my inspiration and my pride.

Today, April 23, 2021, I lost my naani. I could not attend my beeji’s cremation more than a decade ago. And now, due to COVID, I am unable to travel to Maharashtra for my naani’s  last darshan. It is so heartbreaking and I am updating this post tearfully.

Grandmothers are mystical creatures. My grandmothers were unicorns and fairy godmothers. May Sri Krsna take them in His fold. May my dear fairy Godmother attain Sadgati. She spent her lifetime in His devotion. May my Krsna embrace her. 

||Sarvam Sri Krishna Arpanamastu||

About sarikananda

Hello to all the readers and fellow bloggers. I am Sarika Nanda and I welcome you to my blog. I am based out of the national capital of India. I am new to blogging and to writing. My posts are my contemplations on varied topics. I hope to publish something of interest for most of my readers. Hoping to follow the rule of brevity without compromising on the essence of the thought, I will try to write without hurting any sentiments and sensibilities. My writings are my own, and any thoughts picked from another source will carry the source information or acknowledgement. I sincerely hope to see more and more followers and support in the coming days. Happy Reading. Sarika Nanda
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5 Responses to Flashback – Of Grandmothers and Adieus….

  1. Sharad Srivastava says:

    Dear Sarika Amma I loved reading this article…a truely ‘dil se’! One of your best articles simply because it’s not just your personal experience, but most of us can identify it with our dadi’s and nani’s…Both your grannies have indeed lived incredible lives. Besides various struggles and hardships your dadi faced in life, the most inspiring aspect that touched me was that she went on to read and write without getting any formal education. This shows her strength and self-belief.   I can very well imagine how the two would have been the pillars of strength during the toughest testing times of your life. Your grannies were the ‘real’ woman with substance…your nani still. 

    I have always felt that that the grandparents are the most adorable creatures on this earth. You made me emotional reading this article as I could relive my growing-up days with my dadi and nana… take caresharad Dr Sharad Mohan Principal Scientist Division of Nematology Indian Agricultural Research Institute New Delhi 110012 INDIA Mobile: 0091 9910717211

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent ” Ode to the Young Ladies of your life”. Beautifully articulated and expressed. We all have experiences and remembrances but only some can put them into words and you happen to have the developed it into a fine art.


  3. Ranbir dagar says:

    Excellent ” Ode to the Young Ladies of your life”. Beautifully articulated and expressed. We all have experiences and remembrances but only some can put them into words and you happen to have the developed it into a fine art.

    Liked by 1 person

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