My brother and I were blessed enough as kids to be taken care of by our grandparents when our parents were not around. With Mom working, we always went running to our grandmother for lunch. My brother, being the picky perfectionist that he is when it comes to food, developed his sinful tastes early in life because of our grandmother. The woman did have magic in her hands. And as for me, I just needed an excuse to have her feed me. Yes, I have always loved being pampered and that has not changed much over the years. “My hands are dirty”, I’d say. And when that ceased to work anymore, I came up with a more innovative excuse – ” I worked in the lab today and the chemicals won’t wear off with one wash.” She knew I was lying. Yet she’d feed me. She was our second mother. So every time her old age reinforces her unreasonableness upon people, we would defend her knowingly or not.
The last time I was about to visit my home town, I told my mum very clearly that I didn’t want to go to any temple, that I just wanted to spend time with my grandparents that weekend. That I didn’t want the little time I had with them to be disturbed whatsoever. For which my mom commented rather sarcastically, ” Please, you are not expected to come anywhere. Let me do my work peacefully and you can sit all day showering your love upon them.”
I didn’t really shower my love upon them. But I was there, talking to my grand dad, reading a book as my grandmum watched her wretched TV serial. And then when the Bangalore high Court finally ruled the thenTamilnadu CM Jayalalitha guilty and sentenced her to imprisonment in the disproportionate assets case, I began painting on a frame. Nobody would believe that an adult painted that one. Three faces, each denoting me and my grandparents, was all that it was. Everyone thought it was childish. It was drawn by a child after all.
But my granddad came up with an interesting perception of what I had painted. ” The eyes are so prominent in this painting of yours. It could ward off evil forces”, he said. I still don’t know if I must laugh or cry to that one.