She was hell lot of a lady

She was hell lot of a lady

A Story by Avinash

An obituary to my grandmom


I am a maniac. She used to proclaim like many others don’t. 

But that was when she used to be in a good mood.

She was obsessed with the image of Lord Krishna. Being born in 1920s,

 there were not many icons available for her fantasy. She was second 

among her 4 sisters. She never used to get tired of telling stories of 

Jagat Kuteer " the name of her house in Daltonganj and how much

 of an extravagant childhood she had and how clumsy and horrible

 her more famous cousins were; some well known names in Bollywood

 and politics. Also, how many gold, silver, bronze and steel items she used

 to have at her home.

Her dad was an officer in municipality and used to ride a horse. The sisters

 were strictly told not to go out in open, else white officers would 

abduct them, she used to recollect all that in horror. But she also bragged

 about how many elephants were standing in front of her house to 

welcome her Barat (Marital procession), how the Rasanchowki 

( a podium for Shehnai players) kept playing music for days. 

How she then settled in a small village and learned to fool her mother in

 law by acting spiritual and religious. Her husband, who had already 

flunked in matriculation thrice was quite proud of his uptown wife.

 But when he found out that she got better marks in the classes he had failed

, he tore her report cards.

They lost their first child as they were both attending a wedding and 

did not take the child to the doctor in time. Not sure if this

 incident improved their parenting but they still went on 

to have 4 more children.

When her husband got a decent job in another town, she moved along with


She was kind of a celebrity at her new place, the husband now being a 

professor, despite academic hiccups. And now they were enjoying their new

 social status in the new surroundings. She was rarely kind to people equal

 or above her status but to the underdogs she was known to be benevolent

, provided they accept her supremacy and indulge in undiluted sycophancy.

She also raised her nephews along with her own children, which she 

counted as one of her life time achievements and took credit of

 everything good they did in the later part of life.

All her days used to go by like the TV soap operas, starting with 

fake worship of gods without taking food, quarreling with everyone

 in sight until she had something late in the afternoon. In between 

feeding countless birds and an army of servants, maids and their 

children. Afternoons were relatively calmer with some TV 

(we are already in 1990s) on Doordarshan ( the state television of India).

 She always believed that the center of the universe was her nose. 

That is probably one of the reasons, none of her children could grow

 beyond her control. She never let it go out of her hand. 

To term her as complete selfish, self centered and emotionally 

manipulative woman will not be justice to her character. 

At times she was benevolent, straight forward and conscientious but 

most of the times otherwise. But she could do anything for people 

dear to her. That is probably why greedy opportunists always flocked her.

She had a pearly handwriting. She loved to write letters. There were 

bundles of them in the form of postcards and inland letters. She used 

to utilize every last corner of them. But the content, used to be

 the same, complaining about her poor health and behavior

 of others. She blamed everybody and claimed every credit.

She never used to cook but only brag about how good she was at it.

 However, once she did get into the kitchen on my insistence and 

made Alu chops and Paani puri, the best I had till now, she was not

 bluffing. But she never went inside kitchen again in my lifetime. 

You got to keep your reputation. She knew that very well.

She showed immense energy and enthusiasm while being inside

 temples. She stood just 5 foot, hitting a temple bell much above

 her height always mesmerized me.

She practiced untouchability till the time she could, she used to keep

 separate utensils for guests from other religions. I was always 

restricted by her from playing with people from different faith and 

lower castes. She practiced superstition more than spirituality. 

Yet at times she was also seen worshipping Jesus Christ on Christmas 

and offering Chadar for Sufi fakeers. Like most of the Indians, she was

 just another puzzling paradox.

Her eccentric ways were amusing and disturbing at the same time; fear

 of ghosts being one of them.

She used to hate people who had meat. I later lied to her that I have 

turned vegetarian just to save myself from her wrath. But the poor

 servants and maids had no respite until they quit the job.

Her biased treatment created many fault-lines within the family. Her first

 son had a broken marriage, second drifted away from the family, third 

timid but emotionally damaged, the last but not the least, the youngest

 of all, a daughter, born in her late 40s, who inherited every bit of

 her genes minus positives. always carried the grudge of being the

 last child and parents being already old and taken, an ever lasting 

jealousy towards her own nieces and nephews who were almost her age

, ensued.

At times my grandmom pampered me, spoiled me but showered me 

with adulation too, but once I started developing my own mind,

 a distance between me and her developed. That happens once 

you start seeing things in the light of right and wrong. But deep 

within she loved me and I did love her, but we were not meant to

 be together.

I started writing this as an obituary to my grandmom but have rather

ended up in some unknown territory. She passed away recently at the

 age of 93, I only wished she would have crossed 100. I used to tell

 her that I am not going to marry till the time you are alive as

 I can not think of any other woman. She used to blush.

Looking back at her life, all I can say…She was hell lot of a lady.


© 2017 Avinash

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Nice story to read.....good work

Posted 11 Months Ago

Your grandma is a wonderful woman from what I have read
That was very inspiring

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thanks for your kind words Tammie.
An amazing woman and one with a rich history, this touched me. You wrote with compassion, strength and love. An ode to a life respected and also your own evolution along the way, beautiful sweet soul ♥

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you beautiful
What a tale!
more than interesting.
more than captivating.
At times my grandmom pampered me, spoiled me but showered me
with adulation too, but once I started developing my own mind,

That is probably one of the reasons, none of her children could grow
beyond her control. She never let it go out of her hand.
To term her as complete selfish, self centered and emotionally
manipulative woman will not be justice to her character.

a distance between me and her developed.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thanks Apoorva for your kind review.

1 Year Ago

wow, very nice

1 Year Ago

Thank You...

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4 Reviews
Added on March 9, 2017
Last Updated on March 9, 2017
Tags: obituary, grand mom



Bangalore, Karnataka, India

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