MM’s post on how she was influenced by her parent’s and relative’s marriage set me thinking of my nana-nani (Daddy and Ammamma in the Nut speak). They are now in their 80’s and will be married for 55 years this May (Touches wood! Thoo Thoo!!). The got married the regular way – Boy’s mom sees girl, likes girl, asks boy to see girl – boy says if amma likes girl, i don’t need to see and meet for the first time on their marriage day!
Daddy – the original object of my hero-worship – the handsome fair retired air-force officer who has a toughie image with his moustache is actually a softie inside (psst – nowadays his eyes fill up when he sees us off), the one who believes in black and white – everyone is good until proven otherwise and then the person is in the dog house forever, the one who sticks to etiquette and doing the right thing. Ammamma – the beautiful dusky one with the endless stories, the practical one, the one who believes in grey shades of all humans are the quintessential example of “opposites attract”.
They both have been bestowed with a great sense of humour and this makes their constant squabbling very amusing. All around are to maintain silence when Daddy and Ammamma do *dishoom dishoom* lest you can’t miss those awesome one liners …and a side product of their squabbles is an FIR (complaint) being lodged with my mom playing supreme court judge. Ammamma will crib about the number of hours daddy takes getting ready, about how he tries to convert the house into a fruit market with his excessive grocery shopping, about how he refuses to handover the newspaper to anyone until he has read the whole thing TWICE -including all the ads ( am with u ammamma on this one – he even catches multiple shut eyes in between).
To ensure he is not left out in the lodging of FIR’s Daddy will complain about how ammamma has stitched the pillows on the arm chair such that he slides off, about how she keeps changing the furniture around (yes yes at eighty) and how she goes on about Mr So-So shopkeeper being a cheat coz of something he did or said sometime in his life!
But man are they a deadly team when required. Be it protecting their daughter and grand daughter from the hardships of life with Daddy ensuring no external party can touch us to ammamma ensuring that her children are enveloped by her love. They even manage to interchange these roles with ease.
They are the most selfless parents, always there for their children but never once have they restricted their children from doing anything just so that their children could be physically close to them (not even when they are in their 80’s).For the last couple of years, my mom was in Bangalore living near them, keeping an eye on them (to ensure no fourth sibling comes into the world) and they loved having her around – ! But the minute they heard of a job opportunity my mom had received in Scandinavia – Ammamma (who had just recovered from breast cancer) and Daddy knowing their daughter’s love for travel and sense of adventure – actively encouraged her to go. No guilt trips, no pressure nothing!
It’s no wonder that no conversation between their offspring is complete without mentioning “What a deadly duo they are”.
And their love for each other – it’s in the subtle things that they do – Once in a while before sleeping – Daddy will put his hand on ammamma shoulder and pat her as if to say “thank u” or “I am here” or ” you r a good girl”. Ammamma will reciprocate by putting her other hand on his hand as if to say “thank u to u too” or “Yes, and i am here too” or in typically ammamma chutzpah – “i know i am a good girl and u aint too bad either”
God bless Ammamma and Daddy (which is actually ironic coz i think of them as god incarnate) and keep them in fighting condition coz we need them!