I was ten when my Nani(Grandmother from my mom’s side) passed away. I remember being there at her home watching television alone, while everyone else was in the hospital by her side. She had suffered a heart attack. I remember thinking she will recover, how can she ever die. It was 2003 cricket world cup final match going on that day. I don’t remember anything from that match because somewhere at the beginning of the match I got the information that my Nani has passed away. All I remember was the immense sadness that was spread in the house as people came from the hospital along with the remains of my Nani’s body. I have never seen my mom cry the way she did that day.
I myself was never close to her. Afterall I visited her for just few days each year, most of the years from my early childhood I don’t remember. Although not by memories, I still remember her as someone who was really kind to me. I am not sure if I am allowed to chose but she was my favourite grandparent. Still, I don’t think I ever missed her once in past 16 years. Not until a couple of days atleast.
How it started was when recently I decided to start my food space. While I plan a lot of things around food there, I will be running it as a weekend cafe open for public two days a week. As a part of enjoying the journey slowly, rather than creating everything in one go, I am designing a small part of the foodspace to be able to host the guests for my weekend cafe immediately. I plan to put dari (Indian designer matt over which we sit) on the floor along with cushions so that people can sit comfortably.
While I was looking for a dari to buy, my mom told me she had one, hand-knotted by my Nani herself and gifted to my mom many years ago. My mom simply said she will give it to me. When she showed it, I was awestruck for it was exactly how I desire it to be. I am a firm believer of energies that help me to find whatever I am looking for, still getting exactly the kind of dari I have been wanting this way was crazy.
I agreed on the dari even before my mom showed it to me. I also knew it is something that can be considered one of the last memories my mom have about her mom. People who know me know how careless as a person I can be and how me destroying my own belongings is like an everyday thing. However, I know once I take this dari, I can’t be my previous self anymore and have to behave in a much more responsible way. I have to justify my mom’s decision to give it to me.
In a similar way, my dadaji(my grandfather from my father’s side) told me recently about a lot of kitchen items locked at my ancestor’s village in my hometown. These are the items that my family have been using for cooking for generations. I along with my mom are planning a trip to the village soon to get these items.
There is also a fear of dari and other items getting merged with everything else in the cafe and losing its importance. But I guess that part depends on me. It will always be my reality about how I look and take care of these things. Also, while all these items have been in a closed closet for years, I have the opportunity to take them out and make them free. In an ideal world, I would prefer my family to still live at their ancestor’s village and use all these items. But we live in a real-world, where I guess me using them can be considered as a close second. Gosh, so many emotions are flooding in my mind at the moment!
I have tears in my eyes as I can’t stop thinking about how these items are like my forefathers showering their blessings on me. For the first time in my life, I feel responsible. I know I cannot let them down. I will not let them down.
My Nani’s Dari