Wednesday, February 01, 2006
my favourite story about me.
My grandparents have been here for about a month now. I love it when I get to sit with my dadu and dadin and my Mom and sis and talk about the past. Much of what we speak is the oft repeated past. The more number of times I hear these stories, the more I want to hear them. Of course my favourite story is about me. This incident, completely true, happened about 8 to 9 months before I was born. My great grand mom (my ttham-amma, my mom’s paternal grand mom) was staying with her younger son in Benaras (now Varanasi). One night, or may be sometime at dawn, she had a dream about her husband who had then passed away 2-3 years ago. She dreamt that her husband is asking her why she is away from home (the home in khardah) “let’s go” he said, “why are taking so much time to get dressed? We have been away for so long a time, now I can’t wait”. My ttham-amma perhaps was taking some time to dress, so he tells her that he is going to wait at the pond near the house. My ttham-amma asks which pond, to which he says the one at the end of this road, to the right.
As far as I know today the dream ended with my ttham-amma following her husband and not able to catch up with him as he walked really fast and kept saying how he wanted to go to his granddaughter (my mother).
Ttham-amma wakes up and immediately asks her son if there is a pond anywhere close to the house. My chhoto dadu (my granddad’s younger brother) says, that if one takes the road in front of the house, and turns right, there is a little pond.
My ttham-amma is now certain that her dead husband is coming back (it sounds so dramatic and scary when I say this in English but in Bengali it sounds so possible).
So within few days she comes back to Calcutta and my dadin opens the door for her and the first thing ttham-amma asks dadin is if my mother is pregnant. Dadin is shocked because my mom had missed her periods that month. Dadin says may be she is but they are not sure, they hadn’t gone to the doctor yet. My ttham-amma jubilant and all-knowingly tells my dadin that she has had a premonition, and that of course Bulu (my mom’s pet name) is pregnant and of course its going to be a daughter and of course it will be her husband reborn. Because she had been visited by him in her dreams and this was what she had interpreted of that dream.
Within a few weeks they knew for sure that my mom was pregnant, within a few months everyone in the ‘parra’ felt that it was going to be a daughter, and ttham-amma knew who was coming.
I was born on 25th July 1982, about exactly three years after my great granddad had died.
As soon as she was able to, my ttham-amma bundled me up in a white-orange towel and took me around the room which she had shared with her husband, “see everything is exactly how it is, the same bed, the same cup-board, only now I have bought a radio, you never knew how to relax, I am now going to”.
Today my mom tells me for about the 1237th time how her grand dad had always wanted to be born a woman as he had had to take care of the whole family when he was young (he meant that women always had someone to take care of them….ah..Well) and had said a lot of times how he wanted to be my mom’s kid as she really pampered him.
So karma is to be blamed for the fact that I am really lazy and that I let my mom do everything she can to ‘pamper’ me.