Grandma Tales – Of Food & Coffee

“Ranjini! It is time for food!”, my Ammamma (Grandma) would call out.

I’ll either have lots to write or lots to study. I’ll say okay and continue with my work. She’ll call again after a gap and again 3-4 times, until I go have food. The problem with my studies is that I just can’t abandon it midway and so it takes time for me to have food. Sometimes, even after 12 am and I wouldn’t have had my food.

She would come to my room and softly ask,

“Why haven’t you eaten yet? You’ll have to eat alone. Call me when you do.”

“I’ll eat Ma, I have got some more work to do. You sleep. I don’t need company.”

When I finally go to the kitchen, she’ll hear the sounds in the kitchen and come sit with me. Sometimes, if I persuade her, she goes to sleep. But mostly, she sits with me until I finish eating, ensures that I have my fill and only then does she return to her room. She wouldn’t call me or come to my room after that. Her hunger is satiated once I eat. Her heart is at peace.

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There was a time when my sister and I used to study overnight for our exams. She had her boards and I had CA exams. One night, it was around 2 am. We were sitting in the dining room, preparing for our exams. Suddenly we heard music from Ammamma’s room. She was humming an old song.

Uthhara Swayamvaram kathakali kanuvan…

She always told me that it was her brother’s favorite song and that he used to sing it very well and so very often. This conversation repeats itself very frequently. And so, every time she listens to, or sings, this song, I know she misses her brother a lot. He passed away around twenty years back and she keeps reminiscing their childhood days.

That night, when I heard her sing, I knew she was missing him. My sister and I decided to go and sit with her for a while. She looked upset as expected. We spoke for some time and soon we were sitting in her room, studying. After a while,

“Do you want coffee?”

“No Ammamma. We chorused.”, we both are coffee lovers. And who wouldn’t want a cup of coffee while working or studying overnight? But we didn’t want to trouble her.

“It’s okay. I’ll make some. It won’t take much time.”

“No. We don’t want it.”

“You have been studying a lot. A cup wouldn’t hurt!”

We again denied it and then,

“If you say yes, I can also have some.”

Now, we were in a fix.

“I’ll make some”, she said and went to the kitchen.

In another fifteen minutes, the three of us were sipping hot black coffee and chatting at an unearthly hour, when half the world was asleep.

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A Grandma, two grand-daughters and some black coffee ❤

You can read the stories about Ammamma under the Category ‘Grandma Tales’ which you’ll find on the right side of this page. (Scroll down! Scroll down!😀 ) If you don’t find it, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. If you love my ‘Grandma Tales’, again please leave a comment and I’ll be grinning ear to ear and replying!🙂

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The ‘teacher’ element.

‘Good girl! It’s the right answer & you get an ice cream’, ‘here is a star for you’, saying so she draws all these things on the black board.

‘Are you becoming like me because I was you first teacher?’ she asked after around ten years.

‘Remember, always have few friends but close ones. Most importantly make sure you have a girl as your closest friend.
Do you have one?’
 ‘Yes I do.’
 ‘Are you sure? Good. Don’t ever let her go’
this conversation was around eighteen years after she drew stars and ice creams on the board for me. She was my first class teacher. And one of the best. Today is for her.

‘Who is the best student in this class?’ a kid asked
It was lunch time, ‘You all are.’
‘No tell us one name Miss’ the class chorused.
‘You guess, I’ll say if you are right.’
A chorus of names irrupted for which  she kept shaking her head in the negative.
After almost all the names were called out, from a corner of the class a name caught her ear & she pointed at the kid who had said the name & nodded meaning he was right. The class quietened at first followed by so many ‘who?’s when she pointed at a little girl among the kids. The girl never forgot the day or the moment and even after seventeen years, she marks the day with a star & a smile.
That teacher had left a mark in her heart. Probably an ice cream or a butterfly that always stayed. She was my second class teacher.

No other person can make an impact in a child’s mind as much as a teacher can. A ‘good girl’ or ‘the best student’, a pat on the cheek, a smile, any appreciation or occasional reference in the class make a lot of difference to kids & we cherish these little things. Such is the power of a teacher.

Six years after I left my school, I returned for the annual day and came face to face with another teacher. She was short, fair with big round eyes and the same old cute smile as I had known her. She had a huge bundle of costumes in her hand and was evidently in a hurry. She stood there wide eyed with the familiar warm and welcoming smile saying my name over and over again, fretting with the things in hand, not knowing how to take the surprise. She was absolutely speechless, if not for the costumes she would have probably hugged me. My same old first grade class teacher.

There was a sixth grade math teacher who promised a chocolate for the student who answered her question right. Just one student got it right & only she knows the value of that chocolate, while others know the price.

My ninth grade teacher said, ‘She was my faaaavorite student’, extending the ‘faay’ in a sing-song way. Even the tone she used, I treasure. I tasted those words & repeated them over & over again & after my nth repetition my sister said, ‘It’s the same dialogue teachers say to every ex student.’ I considered it. It didn’t dampen my spirits. Those words meant too much to even consider whether they were true.

Last but the best is the teacher who has been with me since my birth till today. She taught me how to talk, walk, pray, play, smile, laugh, color, sing, dance, count, read a book, read a clock, to love and just to be there. My grandmom. My firstest & forever teacher. This day & every single day of my life belongs to her.


What is that extra element that God used to make teachers? ♥