Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ammachi bribed me - Nisha Mathew

When I first heard about the Chirayil Chronicles Blog I was stumped. I didn’t know what to write and wholly attributed it to bad memory. Then as I started reading the posts I felt bad that I still couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write (I wonder if bad memory is in the family). So I thought I would just let it slide till Amma decided to help me out a bit… very sly on her part I must say!

The earliest snippets of memory I have of Kerala and the extended family is of the vacations spent with them but that was a month’s worth of bonding once in 2 or 3 years, gone too soon and with too little time spent with anyone in particular. However I did get to spend 2 whole months in Kerala with Appachen and Ammachi once because Nimmu Aunty, Kalpana and Kavita were away travelling with Johny Appa and I think I will write a little bit about that time.

Being the whiny child I was, I complained quite a bit about staying there and doing nothing fun. Ammachi was not well by then and was bedridden with a home nurse to look after her. She used to miss having people around her and it fell upon me, very naturally, to give her company. I would spend my days at her bed side, hold her hand and quietly read a book. Looking back, it was such a peaceful time, not wasted on small talk but in our own special way grandmom and granddaughter got a chance to bond.

For those wondering about the title, here we go. Yes, I used to sit by her side but do not think that I went down without a fight! Everyday was a bargaining battle between me and Ammachi. In other words she used to bribe me to sit with her and I used to absolutely love it! We were forever fighting about the status of the fan in the room. I liked to have the fan running while she preferred it otherwise. So while the home nurse would quietly endure the Kerala heat, Ammachi gave me permission to switch the fan on the entire time I would sit with her but I think we bargained it down to alternate days because I remember being positively hot and bothered some days. I guess that’s why she offered me her new chappals as a bribe ;-) Now I wonder if I took her up on the offer or not.

It still feels a bit weird to walk into that room even after so many years. It was her room and will always be.

About Appachen, I remember that Amma would spend quite a lot of time in the kitchen preparing some special dish or the other and would then wait for Appachen to finish eating it. He being the sweetest person would eat with relish and compliment Amma on another great meal. Meanwhile I would be complaining about all the food items on my plate (no offence mom!). The evening prayers were an event even though I would fall asleep halfway thru it. Appachen would make sure he included everyone in his prayers. Another special time for me and a reason to take a break was when he would come into Ammachi’s room and hold her hand and talk. I never stuck around to find out what they talked about or if they even talked really, though I now wish I had!

For all the fights and the bargaining, I felt horrible leaving them, leaving her at the end of those 2 months, all complaints forgotten. These are good memories to have even though I might have forgotten it for a bit. Thank you Amma for reminding me!


Kavita said...

Nish!!! Thats so damn cute!!! I can't even imagine ammachy strikin up a bargain with u!!!

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Hey Nisha, I loved the sense of fun around this post - it really brought out the sense of humour that Ammachi had and I remember that twinkle in her eye - funny how some things are hidden and yet you always knew it was there...

misch said...

that's adorable. can def see ya bargaining with her over the fan! :-D