Being the first grandchild I was pampered by both my paternal and maternal grandparents. I was doted by all equally. Talking about my grandparents, you must know that I never met my paternal grandfather Roshan lal Nagrath, I have heard that he was a great human being and lived his life to the fullest. He was one of the greatest music composer and yet never chased the fame. Dida (my paternal grandmom) would tell us about his work and told us how he shot to fame with his second film “Bawre Nain” and was at his peak in the 1960s. Barsaat Ki Raat, Dil Hi To Hai, Tajmahal, Bahu Begum, Noorjehan and Anokhi Raat were few of his best known movies. I wish I had some time to interact with him though. My Dida would dress me up in Indian wear as she loved the Indian culture. She loved dressing me up in ghagra choli and mang tikka etc… Since dida only had two sons and no daughter, she did all the things for me that she would have done for her daughter as she probably missed having a girl child. I remember, once she was travelling to Delhi and I had only gone to drop her at the airport but, eventually I ended traveling with her to Delhi in that one pair of clothes that I was wearing and when we reached Delhi, she shopped for me there. Every day, when duggu and I came back from school, she would have all our favourite eatables ready for us to gorge. Though I admit that there were quite a few times that we would also fight, because we use to share a room and I couldn’t sleep without an Air conditioner while, she would switch it off and that would always lead to our fights and she would go and complain to my dad about me. Dida was a very strong lady and led her life with sheer gumption. Having lost her husband at a very early age, life may not have been very easy for a single woman having the responsibility to bring up both their sons all by herself. She was a lady of dignity and followed her culture well. She had also taught me a few important things from her Bengali culture, as she believed that we should all love and know the value of our traditions and be connected to our Indian roots. I remember, she was the one who cried the most during my bidai after marriage. During the last couple of months of her life, we all knew she will move on in her journey, as her health was deteriorating and she was getting frail by the day. But nothing prepares you for the day you actually lose your loved one, no matter what the reason be. And imagine the plight if your favourite person actually leaves you on your birthday, as Dida chose to… on my birthday. I just could not come to terms with her death nor the choice of the day. I think that question is deeply embedded in my subconscious till date, and I still await an answer to why my birthday? I am sure that she is in a better place with her husband but, I would have liked to spend some more time with her. The void of her loss has still not filled and I miss her every single day till date.
Since childhood, both me and my brother were very attached to my mom’s side of the family too. I was my maternal and paternal grandmother’s favourite and my brother was my maternal grandfather (OMJI’s) favourite. There would be times, that I would end up staying with my maternal grandparents at their house for days and my parents had to actually drag me home. My nana (my mother’s mom) loved taking me for shopping and buy me clothes, toys etc.. My maternal grandparents would take my brother and me on annual holidays, wherever they went. Omji, my maternal grandfather, used to shoot all his movies mostly in Kashmir so we would tag along. And then of course his favourite holiday spot was London, so we have spent most of our holidays with them in London, as dad was usually busy with his shoot work. However, whenever dad got a chance to take a break, he would always join us for a few days. We have built many fabulous memories of our travels, have enjoyed shopping and seeing the most beautiful places while we were growing up. I share a very special bond with Om Ji, and can speak about everything in my life with my grandfather since, I always had fear to communicate with my dad. Now Omji is 92 years old and doesn’t keep good health and looking at him like that makes me sad. He has been my guide and go to man all my life and now when I am on the journey of my life purpose writing these blogs, my grand-dad can’t read my blogs to give me his inputs and nor do I want to pressurize him into reading. I am truly blessed to have enjoyed my best time with the three of them, and happy of the fact that these three that is my dida, Omji and my nana could experience the joy of being great grandparents too and doted on my daughter Suranika, more than they pampered me and duggu.
It indeed is true, that a Grandparent’s love is strong and deep, filled with memories to cherish and keep. So all who are blessed to have them around, love them and spend time with them because your love and company is all they need. Their love and blessings are your biggest treasure. Make memories for they will not be here forever but, these memories will… Hug them and let them know you care.