It’s been a long time since my beloved Dida (maternal grandma) left from this world, leaving us in absolute stun and misery. She disappeared so discreetly, without notice, without burdening anybody, and without bidding farewell, that it has left a piercing void in our souls. But grandma’s stories are still with me, close to my heart.
In the wake of taking care of grieving relatives, receiving condolence calls and over and over recounting to the tale of her last minutes, we are in an empty quietness that haunts not only our home but also our lives. Without her, we are like a flock without a shepherd.
I have heard countless stories from her. She was a momentous person who lived the most satisfying life. She knew numerous lands, eras, and mankind that we remain unaware of.
I remember pleading my parents to let me stay at Dadu’s place over the weekend. I and Dadu would enjoy all day and talk all night. It is then my grandma used to narrate me the stories. The stories of her life, her struggles, her hardships, and a deep closure of her past life.
My grandma’s stories took me to the aristocratic neighbourhoods of Bangladesh – to avenues that sparkled with lavishness and to her ancestral home in Faridpur, neglecting the commercial centre with a door wide enough for two elephants to go through. Then she would tell me about catching fish at Padma River and they caught plenty.
Apart from a good storyteller, my Dida was an amazing cook. My Dida was the person who has introduced me with probably the most memorable dishes I have ever tasted. I had a simple childhood, so it was nothing extravagant, yet the flavours stayed with me in the most ideal manner. One of my top choices was her Mutton Kasha and Hash Dim Kasha. Everything she used to make was scrumptiously tasty and good. She used to cook like no one else I know.
My Dida was a woman who grew up knowing her ‘role’ as a daughter, wife, mother, and a grandmother in this world. She remained at home, never went to school or worked outside the home. My Dida never had that choice, as women during those eras were simply expected to be wives and mothers.
But that never stopped my Dida to become successful. She was a proud wife, a successful mother and a complete home-maker. She cherished her life. Although she never pursued a career as such her achievements lie in the success and establishment of her family.
My Dida was a genuine motivation who drove forward over so much and turned out to be a brilliant mother and grandma. I appreciate all that she accomplished for her family, including renouncing a profession to exclusively concentrating on her children. She has made me the best granddaughter I can be with great life-lessons.
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