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There Is No Place Like Home Except Nana-Nani’s House

Grandparents are nothing but a little bit of magic in this mundane world, they are the perfect blend of wonderful stories, happy memories, and oodles of love.

Grandparents are nothing but a little bit of magic in this mundane world, they are the perfect blend of wonderful stories, happy memories, and oodles of love.

It’s been several years since my grandparents passed away. To say they were loved by their children and grandchildren would be an understatement. Their presence in my life and my cousins, the impact they had will stay with us forever.

I remember with nostalgia visiting my grandparent’s house every summer. There were no mobile phones, no computers, and the tv was hardly switched on. Sometimes I wonder if it even worked in the first place.

It’s unbelievable the things we discover, snooping around in our grandparent’s house.

We spent our days exploring the house and the surroundings. It’s unbelievable the things you find when you snoop around in your grandparent’s house.

An old harmonica, endless books from the 60s and 70s, old stamps, wooden coasters, white lace curtains, a blue tin of cookies, which was never full of cookies, brass decorations or figurines which were polished with Brasso every weekend, an antique grandfather clock, old family photos and this one drawer full of things that you were never allowed to touch.

 I reminisce about the cabinet filled with books by my grandparents. Every visit was something I looked forward to. My grandfather was one of the most well-read individuals I’ve ever met. I admired his breadth of knowledge on nearly every subject imaginable. He was confident in his ability to speak about anything and everything, and he had strong opinions. He was equally adept at quoting Shakespeare and Ghalib’s Shayari.

I won’t lie, there were times when we couldn’t comprehend many of the words he used in his sentences and had to ask him to explain them to us. I was always envious of him and wished to be as intelligent and well-read as he was when I grew up. I’m in my late forties and still haven’t gotten close to him.

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Grandparents are the keepers of family stories!

My grandfather was always reading, fixing, or constructing anything from scratch. He constructed the most incredible electrical gadgets and the greatest paper boats out of little bus tickets. I wanted to read and devour as many books as possible whenever I went to their place. We weren’t permitted to borrow books, and if we asked, he told us “we’d have to wait until we were older to receive them”.

 I understand his thoughts now that I’ve grown up and am the proud owner of a sizable collection of my own. Sharing books is difficult for me. It irritates me when someone takes my books and does not return them on time. The books I’ve accumulated over the years are my best and most treasured possessions, which I will pass on to my child when I believe he is mature enough. Until then, they are mine to have, hold, and smell.

 My grand-mom was a petite and disciplined lady. Her simplicity and grit were unparalleled. She got up at 5 a.m. daily, regardless of any weather. She ate her meals on schedule, and she was quite strict about her studies. When I was a kid, she always took my lessons, and there was no slacking off. She made it very obvious that I am your teacher, not your grandmother, while we are studying.

In our spare time, she prepared the most simple but scrumptious dishes. Her basic potato bhaji and omelet tasted better than any five-star cuisine, and I’ll never be able to recreate it no matter how hard I try. I remember the first time my husband met my grandma and touched her feet for blessings, she stopped him saying,” We don’t touch feet in our house, we hug each other”.

Grandparents more than anyone else are the keepers of family stories. They are like a bridge between the past and the future generations. Story-telling sessions were an integral part of our stay with them.

When grandchildren hear stories that are passed down, they have a sense of belonging in the family. They are also exposed to their culture, values, and their roots. Stories sound so much better when read and narrated by grandparents, isn’t it?

The person I am today is because of them.

I remember vividly there was a jar full of hard-boiled candy on the bookshelf that we were not allowed to touch. Some things are passed down each generation, one such thing that we subconsciously learned from our grandparents was “Chocolates and Ice creams are not to be shared”.

It has to be divided equally and each one gets a share. Before going to purchase ice creams we were always asked which flavor we wanted and how many we wanted. Everyone, including the kids, parents, and grandparents got their choice of ice cream or chocolate. If you finished yours and wanted to have one more, you were never entertained. No one gave up on their share, especially my granddad. If he decided to eat his ice cream later on and kept it in the freezer, it better be right where he placed it or all hell would break loose.

 I’ll never be able to express how much my grandparents meant to me and how their presence influenced my life. They are responsible for a major part of who I am now. It’s tough to realize they’re no longer alive; I still have my grandmother’s phone number saved on my phone and can’t bring myself to erase it.

My parents are now grandparents, and I enjoy seeing the pleasure and amazement in my son’s eyes when he visits them. He enjoys exploring the surroundings and discovering new things. He understands that regulations can be broken at Nana-house Nani’s and that he can get away with almost anything. Grandparents and grandkids have a special friendship that is built on unconditional love, mutual appreciation, humorous secrets, and unbridled joy.

Ending with this beautiful quote I read somewhere –“A grandparent’s love knows no bounds. It does not recognize bedtimes or curfews and agrees dinner can be cookies and ice cream. It can provide unlimited cuddles and kisses and always has time for just one more story ”

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