My Beeji , A Nostalgic Piece by Ravneet Sangha

Ravneet Sangha: An eminent social worker | January 11, 2017 06:38 PM
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The sidetable still was pristine and in order, the faint lingering fragrance of Boroline in the characteristic green and cream color lingered in the air reminding me of Her Johnson’s tube and her comb, still lay there. Her pillow in pristine white embroidered gently with rose buds still was kept there. My grandmother loved subtle embroidery and my cousin embroidered her cream chunni and her suits in the same fashion. Her style of the pre –partition era still was classy as ever and resonated charm in her golden baalis and her one single bangle she wore just the way Sardaarji liked it.

My grandmother or my beeji passed away many years ago but for me that simple lady with her wrinkled face and her open arms was the place where I got comfort and I felt at peace.

Since my childhood, I was their favorite. The complete acceptance, the love and surrender to her and her warmth have been my cornerstone. Beeji was, a small diminutive lady, a wife of a politician who was married at an early age, not allowed to wear make –up or lipstick as he didn’t like it, but she used her daatun to redden her lips. Her stories regaled my childhood, the way she used to softly touch my forehead and she would keep on saying that I needed to be less livelier and spend a little less money. But ,I was the one who got her money to buy what I needed the most my books. 

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Beeji loved her glass of cold drink and some mitha for Sardaarji as she made my mother and aunt do this for her all the time. She was my darling and even the years might have gone by, but I still miss her with an ache that hasn’t dulled or diminished. Time is not the biggest healer nor does it fill the void. Her eyes behind the glasses were always full of love, and they twinkled. I always used to say if Beeji had been educated she would have been the real politician than my grandfather. Sadness still lingers in my heart because the love of a grandmother is not unquestionable, its not challenged nor can it be measured. She never had any expectations from anyone except pure love.

How do you take comfort from the words , that say oh it will be get better? What gets better? We just get involved in our lives and the humdrum routines trying to eke out an existence but that acceptance and love where they just love you never comes back and I miss it.

All my cousins would ask her why I was her favorite , she would just say I was. This is my most precious moment, to be someone’s without any questions is what makes us complete.

All our lives as we grow through childhood, we constantly try to measure to a ghostly framework made for us, outlined by society that has no grey but is so stark in black and white that one gets tired trying to fill the large footprints.

As a woman, one gets tested, tried way too many times and it’s a constant upheaval and a battle sometimes and sometimes yes, it’s a cakewalk.But life does not wait for anyone and that is the saddest fact. 

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I wish I had more time with her, and that I think all of us feel  the same way, one more hug,one more kiss on her cheek and one more time to paint her nails,one more time to brush her hair and to make a snow white bun.

In the early nineties, when television had just started , we had a new series that we all watched the Bold and Beautiful which was scandalous at that time , and she and I used to watch it with so much attention and she would understand all of it and then make all sorts of unapologetic remarks that would have everyone in splits ! Her frankness, modern approach to life made her more modern than the educated old fashioned, narrow bigots of today..

I could go on and on, but the fact is treasure what you have, make time for them and the virtual life we all live in is not what its all about. Take out time to reach out to your loved ones and make the telephone call , and better still hug them . They live in us , yes but the ache remains.

 Love ,

A granddaughter who misses her grand ma .

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