Little Myriad Smiles

Posts Tagged ‘Travel

No, she’s not my grandmother. She’s somebody I met in a local train…somebody who changed my perspective… somebody who made me appreciate life. I never even got to say goodbye to her. But she did certainly etch a place for her in my heart! 🙂

It’s 10 o’ clock. Two kilometers away, the train is all ready to set its journey and we are stuck in the traffic. I was damn sure we would miss it. Amma was nearly on the verge of tears and Raji, my sis was…er, I guess I didn’t look at her. I was staring at the seaming crowd coolly. First of all it’s not my cat exam (grins).Second; there are plenty of options if you ask me to reach Calicut even if you miss one train. You can always call a taxi, give him a few extra tips to fantasize himself as a F1 driver and catch the train in the next station(a little bit of exaggeration, I admit!). Not that I was much interested in accompanying her to her cat exam. It was just that the thought of Kozhikode biriyani and halwa allured me a bit too much and as usual my parents clubbed it with a pilgrimage to Guruvayur .The only thing that bugged me is to how to kill time once we are in the train.

Yippee!!! The train was late and we got it. But it was full of snooty crowd and added to it I didn’t get a window seat. Swallowing all the cuss words, I went around in search of a seat. After settling down, I tried texting all my friends and only one bothered to reply me. We chatted for quite a bit and he also left. Left with nothing else to do, I took out my copy of Tagore’s Gora and started reading.

Somebody was smiling at me. I could see that out of the corner of my eye. Slowly, I lowered the book and my eyes met hers. My first thought was, “Whoa! Cool”. Having so used to seeing aged people either too weak or sullen and dull, the grandmother I met that day was a pleasant surprise. She might be in her late sixties, looking all smart and ‘chic’ in her capris and tee. Smiling, she asked me whether I read Tagore’s books. Expecting that she’s into his books and all, I shyfully admitted I haven’t read any other book by the author. With a naughty grin, she told me that all she read in her teens were Mills and Boons. Oh boy! I was so surprised! 😀 And so began the inspiring story of my new-found granny 🙂

Born in the pre-independence era, she hardly got any education. College was a word alien to her. By the time India got her independence she was married. Then like any other Indian housewife, she was busy with her household chores. But after the demise of her husband and the children got settled, she started a play school. That was the turning point in her life. Here was a woman who didn’t feel the need to shut herself in a room and vile away the remaining years of her life as a mere widow. She chose to stand on her feet, live her life and not just exist. Added to it she started traveling a lot. The gleam that played in her eyes while she was recounting her itineraries couldn’t help but bring a smile on my face. There she was…a free bird, spreading out her wings and flying wherever her wings could carry her…gleeing joyfully…smiling playfully…living life!!! 🙂

For me SHE is woman. The courage to go out and meet the world…a woman of strength, substance and beauty…not defied and diminished by her age or milieu. I couldn’t say a goodbye to her because she was sleeping peacefully, but granny you will always be special 🙂

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