My Grandmother – Dadi as we called her – was a pillar in my house in Patna. Being a woman who had seen The First World War, Second World War, The Independence of India along with major upheavals in her life had ultimately shaped her to be a super-strong woman. She came from a rich household and was married into a rich household. The Manor House that she lived in was huge by all standards. I remember her in a crisp clean white cotton saree because she became a widow when I was two and a half years old. In my head of heads and in my heart of hearts she has always been my role model.
My life revolved around my Dadi. She was the eldest in the household and hence in a conservative Indian family was the one around whom everything revolved. Her quiet power controlled all her six children and their families especially ours as we lived in the same house. Now that I am older I would love the life she had. She never got a degree but was very proficient in reading and writing. She used to write a diary everyday. She even published a book. Her love for knowledge and reading kept the whole house very close to books and studies. How a mother can influence the family can be seen in our house.
Dadi used to pray and meditate everyday, practising her mantras and breathing along with posture. She was a vegetarian. These have become a popular lifestyle nowadays. She preferred cooking for herself even though she had many maids running around her. She would cook special meals and they were always so good. She always encouraged me to pray as well. Because of her I feel I remember so many of the sanskrit mantras which over the years I heard my father and aunties recite as well.
She was a very kind and compassionate person. She genuinely had love for her people and was always there to help out when she could. Her poster bed, chair, cupboards, verandah have a special memory even now and the awe around her household used to reverberate in the whole area. Discipline and punctuality was inherent in her. These are some of the things I would love to emulate. Her humour is worth mentioning and the wit. Mentally sound till the ninety two of years life she has definitely shaped my life and many others. I owe my happiness, career and success to the characters that she helped to build in me. My Dadi will always be my role model.