SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Grandmother's hands

Here is a story I crafted for one of my storytelling events...it was well appreciated by the audience...


Soft and sooo fair; that was my grandmother’s hands. I could see her blue veins crisscrossing under her thin, translucent, stretched skin, it reminded me of baby rivulets gurgling through some snowy mountains…

She was a very fair woman…and She told me  (actually my sister and I ) that when she got married at the age of 13 to my Grandfather who was 17 years old…everyone teased her by saying, he was as dark as kan mai (Kaajal) that it would rub off on her fair, snowy skin! Really they were such a contrast; Black and White!

But I am telling you about her Hands, and those hands are what I cherish …
Images of her sitting legs stretched, a she watched TV and tied the Jasmine flowers into strings…

Images of her as she sat on the floor and made Thiri with soft white, natural cotton, and milk…

Images of her as she made us all sit in a row…for Diwali…everyone in order of Seniority starting with my Grandfather, right upto my brother….with my father getting preferential treatment by sitting on the Mannai ( low stool)…and she with her cupped hands full of Til Oil…patting it on our heads…Splotch…splotch....splotch

Images of her as she scooped Curd Rice…from her Silver plate ( Actually the plate my Grandfather ate from …but she used to rinse it once and eat from the same)…juicy…buttermilk…running down her wrist…as she slurped them with her tongue…not to miss the Home made avakkai, that she could never pass …or Maavadu…or Magani kizhangu..

Those hands belonged to a lady with a really Gassy sense of Humor…literally. It was my grandmother who would regale us with jokes about Farting…(no I am not joking!)…and also one of my earliest memories of her is her telling us a story of this little bird…who ate and Drank sooo much..he had to stuff Straw up his arse! Or even the story of a thief who climbed a tree and couldn’t hold back so he pissed from there…and a passerby thought the tree was blessing him!

Lying down next to her every night…it was like sleeping next to Kumba Karna…for she had a huge tummy..and she would mostly lie on her back…So I would either wrap my leg over her girth…and try to literally sleep over her…or I would pull at her hands…and tuck it under my cheeks...as I dozed off…

But her hands were soft and so craggy at the same time…the veins popping up like mini mountains…on a smooth…soft terrain…..splotched and marked with islands of red; the pink freckles on her fair skin…her arms…so podgy…and cushiony…and warm…

The last 3 years of her life, around the time I got married, she suffered a stroke…Her left side couldn’t move..but the doctor told her…she must try and use her hands as much as possible….

Her hands would tremble as she lifted the spoon from the bowl…and the food spilled over her lips…as she couldn’t coordinate her hand and mouth….
Eating with her fingers became impossible…as she could not make her fingers listen to her….

My beautiful Grandmother…could not use her beautiful hands….
 We had all gone out one day and only my brother was at home that night…As I entered the door…I knew something was wrong looking at his face
so…I ran to my grandmothers room…and saw her lying there….on the bed …on her side…

I lifted her Hand and pressed it to my cheek…my Grandmother’s hands…with blue veins that criss-crossed under her translucent skin…was…cold…absolutely cold.