Friday, March 28, 2014

The joy of grandparents!

What can I say that I haven’t about Abhay and his grandparents! Haven't I said that Abhay is lucky to have his grandparents from both sides close to him? (Touch wood!). If he has his maternal grandma to regal him with stories and engage him in pretend play, he has his paternal grandma to dish out his favourite crispy dosas and piping hot rottis as he comes back home from school! If he has his paternal grandpa to pick him from the bus-stop and drive him to his bi-weekly music class or tennis class, he has maternal grandpa to plan on a new bicycle for him before he’s outgrown his existing one! As if that’s not enough…he has his great-grandma who is the first one to come to his rescue when he’s being disciplined at home! To rephrase Mary DeMaree’s famous saying about grandmas, grandparents always make you feel that they have been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete! Well, frankly, grandparents are your own parents with added affection, extra softness, more patience and fewer expectations!!! J

Ever since his maternal grandparents have shifted base to their farm in Dharmasthala, we’ve not been able to meet them on a regular basis as before. So when Abhay’s maternal grandpa happen to visit Bangalore for a couple of days, Abhay couldn’t have been more excited to be with his favourite Sanna-ajja after a gap of almost three months (which is quite a thing as we used to meet him almost ever other day earlier) So much so, that Abhay refused to let go of him and accompanied him almost everywhere….even on his routine errands! So today’s prompt about his grandparents couldn’t have been more apt and I had his grandpa read “Granpa” by John Birmingham.

 Revolving around the relationship between a little girl and her grandpa, this book also deals with complex issues of love and loss that Abhay couldn’t quite understand. Anyway, grandpa despite his age, engages her various activities like gardening, fishing, sunbathing in the beach, tobogganing in snow and even pretend play of sorts during his much cherished teatime!  Featuring interesting conversation between grandpa and the little girl, with no continuity or relation between each conversation and the other, this book is also about a child’s discovery of the world through her interactions with her ever sportive grandpa. For instance, as grandpa-grand-daughter play with the skipping rope in the garden, grandpa gets nostalgic about his boyhood days, when his grand-daughter wonders if he was ever a baby!!?? This is a book of few words no doubt but the water colour illustrations speak volumes about the affectionate relationship between a growing grand-child and an aging grandpa albeit with a touch of melancholy and nostalgia.  As I said, Abhay didn’t quite get the ending and considering this was a happy occasion for us, neither did I dwell too much on the same. In a way, I could relate to this book much better than Abhay as it reminded me of the few summers that I had spent with my maternal grandpa during my early childhood …..before he went away like the granpa in the book! Dedicating this to all our grandpas…….we will always love you!! :-)

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