Monday, November 28, 2011

Grandma/Ammamma/Nanima comes to stay!

I am back! Back from a 5 week long vacation to the US, 5 weeks in which I visited 7 states, if you include Denver...8. Thanks to unforseen flight delays and missed connections, I visited Denver airport way too many times!!!!! Of the 9 different flights I took, only one - I repeat - only one went as planned!!!!! But anyway, that's a story in itself, which will be up on my travel blog soon.

But this post is about my 90 year old grandmother, or as I fondly call her Ammamma, who stays with my uncle and aunt in Chennai, who wanted to take a vacation to the UK, so she got dropped off at our house here in Hyderabad a few days after I left for the US. My mother who usually stays at our place and takes care of my dogs whenever we are out of town has been looking after her since. The last time Ammamma came to stay at my house was the summer of 2009,  but I was away on vacation so I really didn't get to spend any time with her. Luckily this time she is here for an extended stay, so ever since I got back from the US, I have been observing my mom look after her till said uncle and aunt get back next month. And I have learned that taking care of elderly people requires a lot of patience and compassion!!!!!

Except for some serious short term memory loss, Ammamma is in fine fettle. She has no diet restrictions and can eat anything she wants, her hearing and eyesight are as sharp as ever. She's picked up on every whispered conversation we have had!!!! But in everything else she is like a 2 year old. So my mom has been helping her with her bath, combing her hair, tucking her into bed at night....all the things a mom does to her child, my mother now does to my grandma. Its been fascinating to watch. But what really fascinates me is Ammamma's daily evening ritual of making flower garlands.

Every evening around 4.30 or so, we sit her outside and my mom brushes her hair and packs it into a neat little bun all tucked into a black net!!!!







Then my maid picks little white flowers from the tree and hands them to Ammamma one by one, who in turn with her gnarled knobbly 90 year old fingers, her face wrinkled with years of wisdom and experience, wrinkled even more in furious concentration, deftly intertwines and weaves them into a garland. She holds the tiny green stem of each flower and wraps the twine around it into a knot, then the next....and so on till she has a flower garland about 2 feet long. The whole process takes about 30 minutes....I watch riveted and my dogs nuzzle at her red nail polished toed feet while she does so. So here are pics taken from this evening's ritual to share.....!











Isn't she adorable?

I have lots to share about my trip....and some BIG NEWS! So stay tuned!

26 comments:

Vijaya said...

That was a very beautiful post! Reminded me of my amama..

Richa said...

thats a really sweet post.. my grandpa had his rituals for everyday.. the same tea kettle.. same walk around the garden , same newspaper reading chair..:)

Shalini said...

She looks so sweet in the last pic and really hats off to her for being so nimble.

And yay for your news...I heard :-)

rk said...

I kept checking the travel blog and saw no posts. You are back in India! Beautiful pics and a touching story. There is a certain beauty in Indian women of that age. They seem so serene and graceful! You can see a lot of wisdom in their eyes, all the well lived years. That bun is exactly how my mom does it now :)

Shanthi said...

So sweet K! She looks so beautiful. The red polish on her toes is cute :-). Enjoy her stay with you and you will treasure them for life. You have been missed. So looking forward to all those interesting stories you have to tell.

Bhargavi said...

Such a sweet post..reminded me of my grandma who is no more.red nail polish on the toes is super cute.. Tons of attitude your ammamma has :-)

Heidi said...

Love this post, especially the pictures of the braiding. It's so loving! She has beautiful white hair. I hope that when I'm old I can still rock long hair.

Glad you're all settled in (well, that might not describe it... but, glad you're home safe and sound!)

Sayantani said...

yes Kamini she is very adorable...all grandma's are. love your sweet style of describing are daily activities. My Dida is long gone and I always miss her...
Welcome back to the blogosphere.

purplehomes said...

welcome back..you've been missed. Good to hear you had a lovely vacation. This post is so beautiful and warm. You are a lucky girl to have your grandmom around you. Touchwood. Wishing your grandmom a really healthy, beautiful and a long life with all of her grandhildren:)

Swati Seth said...

this is such a sweet post. your Ammamma is adorable :)

welcome back to India :))

Srija Padmnanabhan (Chickoo) said...

Reminded me of my nayanamma. Very touching post

Purvi said...

Her red toes are so cute :) :)
I have never observed my grand mom in so much detail because she has always refused to leave her village house to come live with us in a city :)

anyways , its a really sweet post :)

GB said...

Your nanima is adorable! Love her saree and coordinated blouse, the red toenails and the flowers in her hair. I can only hope I'll age as gracefully when the time comes. :)

Big news? What could that be? :)

Emreen said...

Beautiful post... Grandmas are always special, right !!

Iniyaal said...

Nice post... So nice to see posts that celebrate elders and admire them.

indian yarn said...

Amen to much what that has been said.

Being obsessed with fabrics , I feel the need to ask this question :)- what is the saree that she is wearing ? Which part of the south is it traditionally made?

Thank You

Anpu said...

Lovely...what a gorgeous ammama... Cherish her, the lovely times spent..thanks for sharing

Roshni said...

She is really graceful and dignified!! Reminds me of my own granny! Do tell us your big news soon!

Kala said...

Kamini u are so lucky to spend some days with ur ammaamma :) This post touched my heart n this is the most sweetest post I have seen till day just loved ittttttt. Enjoy the golden days

Rupa said...

looked very much like my amma's plait. Enjoy these moments for they remain in our hearts for ever.

Ishrath@WanderingMist said...

Thanks for sharing. It reminded me of how I use to plait my Nanima's hair everyday, when she was alive. All grandmas are angels. Thats why they go straight to heaven :)

gwl said...

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shirin goel said...

Everyone likes there grandmom's ........good share...

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Lekshmi said...

She is beautiful! And this is a beautiful post indeed. God bless you!

Madhu Palaparthi said...

Lovely lovey post! I have an 85 year old ammamma and she too is an elegant, highly self respectful lady. Brought back memories :)

Madhu Palaparthi said...

Lovely lovey post! I have an 85 year old ammamma and she too is an elegant, highly self respectful lady. Brought back memories :)