Updated: Mar 17
My heartfelt apart and heartbeat stopped with many things experienced through great time spent with my grandma who was an old lady raised in the agriculture prone tiny village in India.
She grew up in a time and place where there was neither bus nor medical facilities. She got esteemed not for her status or wealth, instead made small differences in many lives of small, isolated, cultured and enthusiastic farmer communities. She did something not for her own sake but to what we should do as a human. Nothing can be complicated to accomplish in life with the exceptions of what history speaks out. I never realized the work of my grandma until recently when I involved in a few volunteer programs. Living in the western world and having more than what we need, blessed to get some time in a rethinking of our purpose in this world.
One side of my grandma's life, she was one of the loved once among kids of the entire community. She loved the kids so much and spared her own time for the sake of gratifying kids. My grandma used to lead, organize and gather kids of a whole village for a trip in the festival season when there is a small fair used to take place on the outskirts of another town. When the event about took place, kids start visiting her and involved in planning for a trip as I said there was no transport facilities available and had to walk for hours to reach there. The best preparation was required ensuring no kids can be missed during travel or while there due to the mass crowd. Also, parents have trusted her for taking care of their kids, due to the establishment of a long history. My grandma had been part of many such events.
My grandma was unable to attend school and so, was not literate and did not know about politics, yet she was concern about people and the future that it is rarely visible in today's developed advancing world. She had a heart filled with community love and aspirations. My grandma was an active supporter for getting people to a crowd for election voting as whenever there was an election at any level, and she was the first one to make a call to people in choosing the right leader. She used to go to every door and explain the agenda of favorable parties so that people may come out for a vote in selecting the right leaders in the wellbeing of a village who can fulfill the duties.
In the small village, we did not have adequate hospital facilities, and so, the community always needed help in the time of sickness, maternity or any other emergent situation. Everyone knows in the area as whom to call for help in such circumstances and my grandma was the first one to step in.
On the other side, My Grandma had a full life field with sorrow, having the first husband died and left with children and then married to another man who was a prominent spiritual leader of that time and teacher. My mother had two sisters, one paternal sister from my Grandpa's previous marriage, and another maternal sister from my Grandma's previous marriage. My mother's maternal sister used to share many things about my Grandma, but one thing struck me as she said, when I came to your Grandma's house, she gave me so much love that I forgot my original mother, who were not alive at that time.
She had a good time for a while but, after very soon, slowly began deteriorating when my Grandpa had a severe health issue. My Grandpa went into blindness for at least fifteen years before he passed away. I remember when my Grandma came to my house when I was in grade 3 and stayed for a few days; then, my mother asked my Grandma, when are you going back to the village to take care of my father (i.e., my Grandpa), who was blind. She started shading tears and saying, what would I going to serve when I go back as nothing left in my house! If he is alone, then neighbors take care of him and serve food. My Grandma did not have money to deal with all destitute situations. Yet, she was the happy, enthusiastic, and confident lady in front of the community and never lost her hope and optimism. She kept going with her challenging time and never stopped contributing to a community.
My grandma's life gave me great inspiration, and I hope the reader may also get benefit from it. To conclude, we may not need to be wealthy, intelligent, literate or leader to make the difference in the community if we indeed determined or love to do something, the doors are always open indeed.