Her Love for Ayba*

Her Love for Ayba*

6 mins 21.1K 6 mins 21.1K

Mithran opened his eyes to the pigeons cooing right behind his AC. He slides his hand on the soft bedcover and finds Kady missing. He searches for his phone under the pillow and finds it plugged to the charger. He picks it up to call Kadhambari, and surprisingly sees 2 messages from her waiting to be read.

“Happy morning my love. A small emergency case. On the way to the clinic. Will call you soon” he read it aloud. “My chief is a blood sucker." the other message read. He recollects how Kady curses him without showing any sympathy. For the last two months, he would have made Kady work 18 hours a day and Kady started hating him inside out.

He enters the kitchen to prepare some coffee and then hears the ringtone that he customized for Kady. He runs to his bedroom and picks it up in the last ring.

“Hey Kady, thank you for charging my phone”, he said breathing fast.

“It’s my pleasure dear”, she replied smiling.

“I wanted to call you and ask....”

“Where have I kept the palm sugar?”, she completed the sentence even before he said it fully.

"Wavelength Kady", he said blushing!

“Go to kitchen and check the second row from your right, blue colour bottle”, she explained. Astonished by her memory power, he boils the milk.

“So how is the session going”, he questioned inhaling the fresh aroma of coffee beans.

"As usual, waiting on the corridor. Once he (chief) comes out, I will go inside", she said in a sad tone.

Realizing her pain, he said, “Kady, send me the story you going to share na, I will read it”.

“Are you serious?”, she asked.

“Yes”, he said!

"Check your Whatsapp. I will call you in few minutes", she cut the call. 

The message read:

Every man is a strict father but an amiable grandfather. Though white is not his favorite color, he always dresses up in white shirt and white dhoti. His white shirt consists of two pockets, one in the front and the other beneath it. The back pocket is considered to be a secret pocket, as he keeps all his money and other valuable stuffs in it whereas his front pocket always carried a white handkerchief and a fountain ink pen.He runs a small shop that sells all kind of clothes at affordable prices. He neither uses marketing strategies nor advertises his brand on social media but satisfies every customer's needs endlessly.

He is a disciplined yet energetic old man of age 87! He reads newspapers twice a day, talks five different languages and stays happy throughout. He wakes up at 6 am, brushes his teeth, water the plants, do some yoga and takes me along for a long walk. I was three years old then. He used to walk around my neighborhood areas and pluck the pink ornamental flowers from the stone pillar house which remains to be my favorite flower till date.

By the time we reach home, my grandpa would have greeted ten people and discussed about the daily happenings. He holds my hand firmly so I don’t get lost or run away from him. Also, whenever he drops me at the play school which is one street away from my home. He gets me the Rs 5 coco-cola and balpam (a thin chalk piece used then to write on the slate) worth 10 paisa.

Now I am 25 years old, neither he nor his habits have changed. He still follows the same old habits but is wiser, stronger and intelligent than am I. Recently we celebrated Vaikuntha Ekadashi festival, hence my mom asked me to accompany him to the Temple. I agreed, because one walk with my grandpa is equal to ten KT sessions with my chief. This time he narrated the history of our locality and shared few of his childhood memories. We were laughing at each other and all of the sudden, he asked me if I was on Facebook. I said, “yeah grandpa” and to which he asked me to brief about it. I explained him saying “it’s one of the social media pages that allow users to send/accept friendship requests, share memories and most importantly do business online”! He remained silent and asked if is it a medium to socialize with people in short. I was taken aback by his assimilation and replied with a monosyllable word: yes. He then asked me if I know Shamala home (one of our relatives). I said “no” and asked him if I need to check with my father. He said, “No, let’s ask the people nearby”.

I became furious and replied, “The streets are empty grandpa, whom shall we ask and no one might know” in a confident tone. He checked his watch and said its “12 noon now. The temple devotees will bring God Perumal in chariots so people who couldn’t visit the temple in person will worship Him directly at their doorstep”. Your aunty will come out definitely, he added. In few minutes, as he said I noticed people coming out with aarthi plates to worship Lord Perumal and my grandpa spotted my aunt among the crowd.

In this era of digital world, he opened my eyes. He didn’t use Google maps to spot the location but his common sense. All my family members say “he is an introvert” but he knows everyone in our locality by name.

As we bid goodbye to our aunty, I held his hand tight as he used to hold mine when I was young. Grandparents are the backbone of our family. They induce good habits and make us understand the reality of life. They are the walking Wikipedia and living example of our roots!

It was 8 am when Mithran finished reading it. Drenched in thoughts, he gets ready and starts his bike engine. While driving, the memories he shared with his grandparents and the love they showered upon him crossed his mind. He made a mental note to visit his grandparents this with Kady this weekend.

“The session was successful. He (the patient) agreed to bring his parents back home”, Kady texted. Mithran smiled reading her message and calls her back immediately. 

“I love you Kady”, he said.

“Me too”, she replied.

“When you will come home...?”, she questioned.

“I just reached office Kady, will come soon.”, he said with a smile on his face.

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*Ayba means Grandpa in saurashtra

By 2025 the number of elderly people in India is projected to reach 158.7 million and sending them to old age home is not a right option. We must take care of them as they looked after us when we were young. Their needs are simple and what they need from us is our gentle care and time.


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