AN AGE-OLD BOND

Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Mri­nal Shekar Deputy Ed­i­tor mshekar@gulfnews.com

Grow­ing up I didn’t have any of my own. So I found one. A grand­mother, that is. I saw her at a bus stop. I was just out of col­lege, con­fi­dent – overly so in fact. She was soft, frag­ile, wrin­kled, al­most cot­ton-candy like. Wrapped in a crisp cot­ton sari, her sparkling sil­ver hair pulled into a neat tight bun, she was wear­ing slip­pers adorned with way too much bling. I saw them and smiled. ‘A gift,’ she said, catch­ing me in the act. I nod­ded, slightly sheep­ish. ‘Do you live around here?’ she asked. I nod­ded again. ‘It’s my first time here,’ she said. ‘Know the lan­guage school around the cor­ner?’ she con­tin­ued, see­ing the cu­rios­ity etched on my face. ‘What do you teach?’ I asked, find­ing my voice. ‘Ask me what I learn,’ she said with a laugh­ter that was full-bod­ied and fully care­free. In that one mo­ment, I think my world stopped re­volv­ing around its axis. Her hu­mil­ity hum­bled me and her courage left me over­awed. I was in love with her. ‘San­skrit. I’m learn­ing San­skrit,’ she replied to the ques­tion mark on my face. ‘Why San­skrit,’ I asked. ‘Be­cause I’m told it is a dif­fi­cult lan­guage to learn,’ she said. ‘And I love chal­lenges.’ We spoke some more. Mo­ments later she was gone, never to be seen again. I guess I could’ve found out how she even­tu­ally fared by vis­it­ing the school she went to. But I didn’t want to. I just wanted to hold on to that serendip­i­tous mo­ment we shared. Pure and for­ever mine.

Learn­ing is an at­ti­tude, life a life­long les­son, and you will never be learned enough. My bus-stop grandma taught me that.

And to know how grand­par­ents in the UAE con­tinue to be an im­por­tant part of their grand­kids’ lives, read the fea­ture #Grand­par­ents mat­ter, on

Un­til next week,

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