Every time I spot a rose in the supermarket I am fondly reminded of my maternal grandmother. Ammachy, I dearly call her, loves her rose garden which blooms aplenty in the summer. Pretty pink, dove-white and blood red are her most cheered bloomers. She would dutifully water her plants, “my best companions” she often said, twice a day, feed the soil with organic fertilizers; a rough mixture of onion skin, egg shells and tea dust, from her kitchen.
Although my grandmother aged and became weak over the years, her love for her garden and for her granddaughter grew more. “Love everybody but you should love yourself too. Engage in something you love doing and make sure you get better at it. Eat well, dress well, travel a lot and stay happy.” Her words were so comforting that it made life seem so simple.
She had a solution to every problem of mine including my frizzy hair that could never be tamed. “Coconut oil massages..”, she’d say “were the best in my days and let me tell you, girls had better hair in the forties. Shampoo was made fresh from the hibiscus extract from our backyard. A thorough mix of egg-whites made a superb conditioner.” I never questioned her methods although it sounded obsolete but I tried and it worked.
Saturday mornings were dedicated to body-loving jogs and open-air walks by the beach. The rest of the weekend was spent with Ammachi of course, gorging on all my favorite dishes that she painstakingly cooked for me. Nobody could beat the crab curry she made. She is a fine cook, the finest without a doubt, my favourite too..
It’s more about her presence that I took comfort in, that I never did really realise that a couple of years later I would be missing her so much . I hope that I would be a wonderful grandmother just as bubbly, as wonderful, as prayerful and as loving as she. I believe she is the sole reason that many blessings came my way and I wish I had cherished more of her.