I was named after another girl, my grandmother met once. People often think it was the river I was named after, but it was the sprightly, charming and friendly 2 -3 years old girl, she named me after. Odd thing is, I don’t think they met more than 3-4 times at most and that too, at someone else’s house.
She’s a pretty good sort, my Mum-mum. I have no idea how we came by that name for her, but we did and passed it along. My brothers, I and even my close friends, have called her that for years now. She’s the sort that cooks well, turns the house into a home, is affectionate, loves children and flowers, your friends, calling people over and hosting lunches…the typical nice warm grandmum. But she’s also the sort who will emotionally blackmail you relentlessly. However, when you don’t get affected by that and give it as good as you get many many times, she’ll chuck that tactic and show you how spunky she can be… and you’ll enjoy a nice laugh together.
Born in pre-partition India to a Zamindar family, my grandmother is older to me by 2 generations. Technically she should spin tales of yore, be superstitious and stick to age old misconceptions of how society should be. But I realized how cool she truly was, when my mum told me that she didn’t want me to be named after the girl, as she was sickly. My mum-mum never told me that. She just noticed the bright eyed innocence of the little girl and enjoyed her company. That day, I was more proud of her than I have ever been.
So even though she is a little vain about her looks (when I say “little”…), loves dressing up and getting others to do so, likes others to think that she prefers to read books (she reads a few), when she actually LOVES watching family dramas and soaps in general and is disappointed that I’m not married yet, she’s the best sort around…and the only sort that could be right for me.
This post is named for her. Thakumar Jhuli refers to the repertoire of folk tales and stories that grandmothers have and often narrate to their grandchildren. When I started out, I was supposed to write about my namesake but words have a funny way of pouring themselves out.