Time in safe vault

Time in safe vault

My grandmother grew weak and stopped coming out with us. Later, I stopped visiting.

I was born and brought up in Delhi, where I lived with my parents and younger sister. My grandmother lived in a remote town down south. As a kid, before I started school, we would travel many times in a year from Delhi to visit my grandmother. I used to enjoy these three-day train journeys.

Once I began schooling, we would visit only during the summer vacations. It was always fun to be there and my grandmother ensured that she prepared innumerable delicacies for us. But more than that, it was just being close to her that gave us the familiar comfort of her love and affection.

It was customary to visit temples when we were there, and we would take grandmother with us. She had a highly restricted diet because of which we used to “carry” the kitchen with us. We would stop at a nearby village and my mother would lay the kitchen and cook for us.

Years passed by but our holiday destination remained the same every summer. My grandmother grew weak and slowly stopped coming out with us. More number of years passed and I stopped visiting her as I had increased responsibilities of studies and exams.

One day, she passed away. My mother and sister travelled from Delhi to join my father, who was there by my grandmother’s side when we lost her. I, however, stayed back at my friend’s house. Life went on, but we no longer had any place to go to during the holidays. I settled down when I got my first job and married some years later.

It’s been 35 years since. Today, I sit back and wonder about what I missed in life. When I could visit my grandmother frequently, I was quite young and as I grew up, time with her was limited. If only we had the ability to have our beautiful moments locked up in a “safe vault” which we could open whenever needed. We never realise the value of time when we are young and long for it when we need it the most as adults.

Today, my mother is a grandmother to two lovely grown up children. I lost my father last year. Life has come a full circle as I see that my children don’t have time to spend with my mother now. It sometimes pains me to see this but their situation resonates with my own past. I may have learnt lessons for the future but they come too late for the present. It will not be too far from now when I would be caught in a similar a situation.

All our lives, we strive to strike a balance between work and life, but while we retire from work, life goes on. It is important that we spend quality time with those who are dear to us. We will be blessed if we recognise this early and don’t lose the adorations due to us.

I long for my children to carve out some time for their grandmother now so they don’t have to write an anecdote like this 50 years hence. The philosophy of life may be to come and leave alone. In between, though, our children can carry those fixed deposit of memories to be passed on to the next generations.