Balvihar September 2019
Paati’s pulse quickened, and her heart rate skyrocketed as she watched her granddaughters rushing up and down the corridor. It was already 7 am and by now the school bus must have left.
The girls had missed the bus twice that month and her daughter in law Vijaya
had to take them to school by taxi. Was today going to be the third day? Paati watched anxiously
Luckily the bus had not left and Vijaya and Paati heaved a sigh of relief.
Vijaya sometimes felt so dejected that she had to go through the chaotic mornings, now more often since her husband Sankar had taken a job in the city, away from their home.
Was she not capable enough to handle her daughters? The time charts she and the girls made together did not seem to help.
It was comforting that Paati was with her. She did not have to handle everything alone but she needed to find a way to lessen her anxiety.
The evenings were more manageable. Vijaya even found some time for yoga and walks. Thanks again to Paati who had trained her excellently to organise herself. Paati was more a mother to her than a mother-in law.
Now the query at the back of her head popped up again. Would Vijaya be able to train her daughters the same way? Would they listen to her?
The older one Smriti was quick witted and smart but had terrible anger issues. She loved to spent more time with her friends or watching TV but Paati being the strict disciplinarian, Smriti dare not cross the lines. The 9 year old Aditi was playful but keen on getting independent.
Vijaya sat down to have tea with Paati.
Maybe it wasn’t as bad as she thought it to be.
“The girls would manage just fine” Paati assured her.
Smriti was quite rude to Paati at times because she couldn’t be as she liked. She would argue with Paati about the smallest things.
One morning, in a hurry to catch the bus, Smriti ran at full speed not noticing Paati standing in the living room. Smriti was stuffing one whole idli into her mouth when she hit Paati who lost her balance and sat down with a thud.
Unaware, Smriti just continued running to the bus, yelling “ Paati, watch where you are walking!”
She did not even notice that her bag was wide open as she ran towards the bus.
Aditi who came running behind her, was holding a folder.
As Aditi ran towards the bus, she chided Smriti “ What have you done? You dropped your assignment, but worse than that, you did not even notice that you knocked Paati down.”
Smriti mumbled a thank you to Aditi who told her to better remember and apologise to Paati that evening. “ We are so lucky to have her. I don’t even know how badly she must have got hurt, but she was more worried about your assignment. I hope you would be nice to her.”
Smriti was so embarrassed as all her friends were watching.
That evening, Smriti did apologise to Paati. When Paati couldn’t find her reading glasses, Smriti sat down and read to her calmly. That was how she wanted to show her gratitude.
Aditi and her friend doing their project together wrote “ And Paati beamed with pride at the change in her darling granddaughter Smriti.
Isn’t Gratitude a great attitude?”
Such a lovely story this is, that I, Aditi’s friend could not resist sharing it with you.