This is a story that I have wanted to tell for some time now. I didn’t really know it was a story so I didn’t bother looking there all this while. It became a story this morning when I eavesdropped on a conversation that my mother and sister were having about my grandmother. My father has always thought that I am like his mother. It’s like this general consensus that I’ve grown up listening to. Now that I think about it, everytime I expressed a stubborn desire to do something that nobody approved of, I was told that I am like her. For the longest time, in fact even until before 2 months, this was offensive to me. This comparison. Everytime someone wanted to make me feel bad and wanted to make me stop ‘wanting’ something I could not have, either because I was too young or because I was a girl, I was told that I am like my Grandmother. It was said in a tone to put me back in my place.
I don’t remember having spent much time with her except for our long morning walks together in Belgaum. My grandmother is the quietest person I have met. Too much has been said about her in the houses that I grew up in. Too much more has been said about her in the houses of my mother’s sisters. Stories of torture and stubbornness and arrogance and my mother’s silent battle against this woman who made life hell for her. This is the story that was told to me by everybody who knew her. I see another story here though. I don’t know much of her past and whether or not she was happy in her marriage, whether or not she liked her children but I do know that she liked being on her own. She wasn’t much of a talker, didn’t like small talk, ate on her own, watched TV on her own and stuff. And these were things that she was constantly being judged for.
Women who like their space are never liked in this family. It’s only now I realise how strong she was/is to stand up to all these fellows. Now I can see why my father and I have issues. He’s trying hard to tame me and I am trying harder to run away. Everybody hated her for how often she wanted to run away everytime there was a fight at home. And god knows how much my mother wants to silence of the lambs me everytime I mention wanting to live alone. It scares them. When women in my family think of running away as an option, scares the crap out of them.
I think my granny was unhappy because she couldn’t be by herself and when I think of how much she could have had if only she was born a generation later; it makes me want to hug my parents so I immediately stop thinking dangerous things like that. I look at what I have now and how much more I can have, if only I stop being a lazy chicken and start work on my escape plan.
I think she was fond of me but she liked my sister better because she was the good one. See, that’s the crazy thing. I don’t know how these things work. Anyhow, think how much she would have loved to have a room of her own. Think how many more people she could have pissed off if she had lived alone, just the way she wanted to. Especially my father. Strange strange family. I have daddy issues and he has mommy issues. But she actually has no issues. She would have been a happy person if everybody just left her alone! If only she could have run away.