Wind beneath her wings

From the albums

Wind beneath her wings

I was born and raised in Bangalore. I grew up in my grandfather’s house in Malleswaram and continue to live there for sentimental reasons.

Since my grandfather had bought the house with all the money he had saved, we didn’t want to leave this house. 

  I completed my schooling in Cluny Convent High School and went to Mount Carmel College, where I did my pre-university and BCom courses. I began acting even before I could complete my final-year degree course. I’ve not taken a break since then.

I’ve been preserving this picture for years now. It is one of my favourites because it has my grandmother Rama Pandit in it. It was taken in our house in Malleswaram when I was barely five-years-old. She was my father’s mother and the two of us shared a very close bond. I used to call her ‘amma’. Although she died when I was 10, her thoughts are still fresh in my memory. 

She was around 80 years old then and couldn’t move around without help. My shoulder would invariably double up as her walking stick and I would take her wherever she wanted to go. I refuse to leave her side even at night and would cuddle up to her in her narrow bed. My parents would ask me to let her rest but I would always sleep by her side. She would narrate stories which fascinated me no end.

She would talk about her childhood and her school in a tiny village in Shirali, which lies between Karwar and Bhatkal taluks. She would tell me how there wasn’t electricity those days and how people lit up lanterns on the streets. She also used to describe her travels in bullock carts at night and how the sound of wild animals frightened her. There was room for imagination and visualisation in all her stories. 

She was my strength in many ways. She  always came to my rescue when my mother scolded me for not doing homework or for something else that I would have done. She was always bright, cheerful and soft-spoken.

One of the things that she told me when I was young has influenced me in many ways. She used to walk barefoot and when I asked her the reason, she said that it’s not the footwear that is important but how strong you are to travel the path you want to take. This didn’t make much sense when I was a child but now as I look back,  I understand the meaning of what she said. 

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