I am supposed to check-in my application design tomorrow and here I am thinking and writing about my paternal grandmother. :hide:I am feeling nostalgic and all I could think about is her face, mannerisms and the conversation I had with her. Parvathy Ammal, my "Paatti", my Father's mother was a very interesting character. She died a few years ago on a wintery morning longing to see her last grandkid- a.k.a my second daughter. I was her least favourite, she considered me a rebel. A typical conversation between us was something like this... Paatti- Endi 10 nimisham late? Cinema parthuttu vanthiya ? (Why are you 10 minutes late ? Did you go for a movie (after college) ?) I respond something like this – "10 nimishathula newsreel kuda parka mudiyathu Paatti" ( It takes more than 10 minutes to watch the newsreel/advertisement that are shown before the movie ) We argue and we publicly display our irritation towards each other. But secretly, I admired her and to my surprise a few years ago when I visited her for the last time, I came to know that she is very proud of me, something he hid from me for a long time !! My Paatti- Parvathy Ammal was born in Trichy and was very good in studies. One day she came home ecstatic as she stood first in her class- 8<SUP>th</SUP> Standard English medium. She was very proud that she got better marks than the 3 girls and 35 boys in the class. She was rather impatient to tell her parents that she went straight to the "koodam" ( living room) but was dragged into kitchen, hurriedly changed into a pattu pavadai ( long silk skirt) and was asked to serve coffee for an middle-aged man. Little did she know that it was the last day she went to school, the last day of her playful childhood. She got married when she was 13 to my grandfather who was 30 at the time. She had her first child when she was 15 and the last one, 14<SUP>th</SUP> one when she was 40. A dozen kids survived while one was a still born and the other died as a toddler. She survived the WW II, travelled all the way from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on">Burma</st1:country-region> by foot with 3 kids ( My Grandfather owned a highly profitable restaurant in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">Rangoon</st1lace></st1:City>), managed to settle in Orissa, learnt hindi and oriya and top of it raised all her kids without any help. All my Periappas, Chithappas and Athais are all graduates. My paatti was a great entrepreneur. She was running a number of home-based businesses. She had cows and used to sell milk, cow-dung cakes. She would stich blouse, frocks, skirts and also ran sewing and cooking classes at home to get some extra income. She had great communication capabilities, extract all kinds of personal information from a person who she had just met and use all that information for personal growth. In short, she was a combination of Martha Stewart and Oprah :thumbsup My paatti ruled our house and the whole family(all periappas, chithappas households) sitting in the "easy-chair" in our koodam. The house would be super clean as she will supervise the maids while they clean our house. The house will be so organized that everything had a place in the house, so everything was easier to find. She is the ultimate time keeper so we are all never late for anything ! She is an expert when it comes to dealing with money and her mind was very sharp that she never needed a calculator to keep our home finances in line. We all hate to admit, but believe it or not, she was a stress buster for all of us. She made my mother's life easier as she would decide the menu, plan the invitees for occasions, decide what to give for thamboolams ( parting gifts for ladies), even what to watch on T.V :spin .She made decision making and managing finances easy for my father as she was in charge of all the things. Ironically, she made my sister's life easier by taking great interest in selecting, filtering and interviewing prospective grooms before they got an opportunity to meet my sister. And to me, she kind of made me what I am today. She would always say thing like " You cannot do it, You are not brave enough to risk it,etc.." which used to make me furious :rant and go for it ! Having said all the above, she was never like a regular paatti, never interested in pooja, rituals, no long hours of chanting slogams and never observed vrathams. She was interested to know things, how they work, who invented it. She wanted to come to the <st1:country-region w:st="on">USA</st1:country-region>, see the <st1lace w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Niagara falls</st1:City></st1lace>, but her health prevented her to hop on a plane and fly for long hours. She enjoyed YOUTUBE videos, ARR's music,birthday parties, buffet dinners, designer sarees, movies :-o. She watched every news channel, wanted to be aware of the happenings in the world. She was fascinated by technology and change! I always thought she was interested in worldy things.. But never understood her quest for knowledge, her interest to explore the world. I don't remember her teaching me any slogams, but I do remember her arguing with my dad to get me a two-wheeler. I don't remember her making paysams for my birthday but I do remember her reminding me of the last date to fill out the NIIT entrance applications. I don’t remember her hugging me or my father but I do remember her feeding the street dog. I don't remember her insisting us to plan a pilgrimage but I do remember that she was very particular that all her grandkids go on a honeymoon trip ! Here is an ode to my grandmother on Mother's day ( belated)! A mother who taught her kids to be strong and the ways to survive in this world. A mother who was always misunderstood when alive, but completely missed after her death. Cheers ! Radhesyam.