Friday, June 21, 2013

An act of love goes a long way

I have a lot of friends my age who haven't known what it is like to have a grandparent's love, or who have lost all their grandparents over the years. Till a little over three years ago, I could say with pride that both sets of my grandparents were alive and well. I have been fortunate enough to have lived with my paternal grandparents for the first twenty years of my life and was a very frequent visitor to my maternal grandparents' place as well. It is an entirely different feeling to grow up having the love and care of grandparents and their blessings aplenty. Unfortunately, my nanaji crossed over to the other world in the June of 2010. Even though everyone had known it was coming, yet it was a big blow to the family, more exceedingly to me, as I had always been extra pampered and loved by him. During his last years he was little more than a vegetable, hardly even recognizing us anymore. I wish we had had more time to spend with him. Yet, I cherish the limited memories we have - of his stories, of the orange candies, saunf and other little goodies he always had ready for us when we invaded his room. He once admonished me for having contracted myopia so early on in life, and devised ways to get rid of it. I never followed up on his advice *sigh* but I remember every word of it. Will probably pass it on in the future to my kids as their great grandfather's precious words.

The reason why I'm reminiscing about him today is a dream I had last night. I saw my nanaji, hale and hearty, feeding a large gathering of unfortunate and destitute people outside a temple. There was a look of utter contentment and fulfillment on his face. He was serving food single-handedly, and suddenly turned back and smiled. That's only as far as I can recall. It may have only been a dream but it had a profound effect on me. It felt as if he was trying to send across a message to me. And then it suddenly dawned upon me. He, or probably my conscience, wants me to do what he was doing in the dream. Now it may only be a foolhardy belief that someone can visit you in your dream, or a dream can serve as a sign, but I took it rather as a motivation to perform an act of kindness that we often skip out on doing in our busy lives.

I'm therefore cooking a complete meal all by myself today. No help from anyone. I'll be taking it to the Vinayak temple near my place in the afternoon and feed the devotees, rich and poor alike, urging them to bless my grandfather's soul, wherever it might be. I've never paid homage to him till date - perhaps this is my chance.

I do not know how to cook a lot of Indian food though. I can cook good Italian cuisine and exotic beverages, but that's not the kind of foodstuff you'd serve at a temple. So Kitchens of India has come to my rescue. I'm cooking paneer makhani and vegetable biryani using their mixes, adding however a unique touch of my own. I'll also prepare dahi raita and salad and make hazoori petha halwa for prasaad. I must admit I have never done anything like this before. I'm trying to keep the fare simple but sumptuous, in keeping with the purpose and my intention.

It is an act of love on my part for every fellow human being and homage to those who've passed away. The fact that it coincides with my grandpa's death anniversary was perhaps destined. I hope I'll be able to do justice to my cause and bring smiles to the faces of as many people as I can.

[This post is my second entry for the My Weekend Party with Gourmet Food contest.]


Anonymous said...

wish you all the luck .. write good :) Waiting !!

Sudeep Gupta said...

personal write ups are always good!

Mahimaa Kohli said... - Thank you :) hope you read the updated version!

@Sudeep - I feel the same. That is why I make it a point to personalize all my posts, even for contests. :)

Rickie said...

That was a lovely sentiment. I am sure your Nanaji's watching from above and feeling happy.

Good luck with the contest.

Nisha said...

I'm sure your Nanaji is watching and smiling.

Sushmit said...

Strowary Swing o_o

alakh said...

U have a great sense of expressing feelings in ur blogs...I've gone through few others but I can certainly predict that u'll end up with Booker when u give a second thought for ur topics and a little more depth in the matter..