A Happening Life, Pt. 1

“Abhay! You have a very happening life. I envy you.” 
I remember it was one of our family friends who said that and yes, he was right. Abhay always held me responsible for that. According to him, routine was boring for me and I was eccentric enough to turn the simplest of activities into an event. He was not entirely wrong but then he was equally responsible, as it was he who turned my imagination into reality. I think we both shared a zest for life which helped us love and enjoy every activity that we undertook. And we owe it to two women in our lives. 
For him it was his grandmother whom he called ‘Inna’ and for me it was my mother whom I call ‘Mumma’. And I choose to write about them because to me it’s their month. I don’t know the exact date but Inna left this world in the first week of June. And Mumma is celebrating her wedding anniversary tomorrow.
Inna was born into a very wealthy family. Her father had ships and she used to eat Cadbury then as a child. By her own admission she had a very volatile temperament as a girl. This might come as a news to many of Abhay’s cousins since Abhay himself saw her angry only once in the sixteen – seventeen years that he had known her. Inna was always the go to person being the lady of the house. No one ever remained hungry around her and she was industrious enough to learn new dishes to serve her grandchildren. Abhay used to ask her all sorts of questions and she used to reply honestly because no one else ever asked her those things. She was a traditional woman for whom her family came first. Her house was forever open for whoever wanted to come for a stay. An uneducated lady her heart glowed with the warmth of her hearth. Things happened around her. She was the centrifugal force that made her central to every celebration, every festivity. Always dressed neatly in a very soft nauvari, the typical Maharashtrian saree, she served everyone with a smile at any given hour. She was kind and jolly and shy. Nana, Abhay’s grandfather, would go to get the pension every month and would unfailingly get her a gajra and handed it over to her with false hair, hidden discreetly, because her hair had thinned out. And he would also give her a monthly pocket money which was hers to spend the way she wanted, though it would usually go to her grandsons or towards grocery. She was a celebrity in her own way and was popular in our neighborhood, her daughter’s neighborhood in Bandra and much respected by everyone. Today even after more than 30 years people, who ever came in her periphery, still remember her fondly for the way she lived.
As for my Mumma, what do I say. A modern, educated professional, she is the one who taught me by example. I remember the days when we were young and had no table manners. She bought a cutlery set and set up a table for us when we didn’t have a dining table. She made mats and napkins from an old bed-sheet. And would make me lay the table, showing how and where to place the cutlery, teaching us how to use them. I never heard her complain to my father about what we didn’t have, rather she was always resourceful to arrange what we needed from all that we had,
She taught me that creativity helps overcome all obstacles, one just needs to have a thinking head. I remember the way she would make us feel important and proud for the things we had and not be bitter about what we didn’t. Delhi heat used to be oppressive but our house was very windy. She would say, “Come, let’s make our house cooler without an AC.” She would take old bed-sheets and soak them and hang them on the windows. She taught me simple science at work, evaporation, with her inventiveness. When she made ice-cream all of us kids in the neighborhood went searching for cones so that we could enjoy ice-cream the was it should be, in a cone not a cup. She would tell us that loving mothers get up and make paratha/ chapati. The lazy ones give their children sandwiches. Lessons in healthy eating!
Mumma, is the person who taught that it was important to eat happily than to just eat for the sake of eating. There were Sunday breakfasts, Monday dinners in the month of Shravan, and other days when we would sometimes sit in the kitchen around her, eating hot chapatis straight from the gas stove. There was always fun and laughter around her. And we had a happy childhood because of her. Thank you, Mom – Dad for giving us the joy of growing up in a family filled with love and laughter. A very happy anniversary to both of you. I will also share what it was like growing with Papa because a child needs both the parents for a healthy upbringing. But that’s for another day. 
How we had a happening life is for the next post. Today, I dedicate this post to Inna and Mumma the people who taught Abhay and me to not to wait for life to be perfect. But to try to make the best of what we had, enjoy it together, make good time happen and draw unparalleled pleasure from all that we did. This only made our life perfect and we lived it happily.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anjali Doors says:

    Awesome write up👍And wishing Uncle Aunty a very happy anniversary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nivedita Yadav says:

    Hello Ma’am, I dont think you remember me,but let me tell you I never read blogs earlier, but ur piece of writing is just so awesome that I just cant hold myself from not reading them!
    You are truly an inspiration!
    Much love to you♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course I remember you and your big bold handwriting, Nivedita. Thank you very much for your lovely comments.

      Like

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