Pole Hugging grandma!

I am sure the title of this blog is a bit puzzling..But I am sure as you read the rest of the post you will see her just as I do each day.

She is an Indo Canadian lady in her late 60’s, short and chubby. Always impeccably dressed. She even has sweaters that matches her salwars.
She is a total contrast to me as I wear faded hoodies and dresses that has never seen the whatchamacall iron!

But we do have one thing in common. She and I walk everyday up and down the hill to drop and fetch kids from school, be it rain or snow.
She lives 2 blocks south of my place and all of last year she walked with me. She speaks to me in Punjabi and because of her slang I understand 1/3 of what she is saying and she probably don’t understand any of my Hindi( which lately sound a lot like Malay) But we still talk.

I noticed the beginning of this school year that she has a new friend to walk along with her.
I didn’t like her friend.
There were many reasons why I didn’t like her friend. First being that her friend changed her independence. Her friend also made her walk slow.
Last year she could match up my speed and we used to reach the school together. But this year often I had to walk ahead of her because I hate to walk slow!
2 days ago I walked up ahead of her, dropped the kids to their respective classes and walked back home and found her still standing in the middle of the way holding her grand daughter’s hand and her friend in the other hand. I noticed how breathless she is.( I think she is probably having Congestive Cardiac Failure)
I offered to take her grand daughter to school because I knew there was no way this lady could walk up the hill. She was shivering and breathless.
But the grand daughter wanted only her grandma to drop her to school.
Together they walked up the hill. Every 200 feet she would stop by the street light pole and hold the pole to steady herself.
Later that day I offered to pick up the her grand daughter from school.
She looked at me with sadness in her eyes and said She can’t let me. Because her son wants only her to drop and fetch his daughter from school. He brought her all the way from Punjab so she could help take care of his daughter.He even bought her a friend to walk with her ..
A beautifully carved walking stick.

Each day she walks up the hill hugging the street light poles.

People like her are the ones who has no rights because there are children who keep expecting their parents to provide. After all who can deny the fact that grand parents really love to be with their grand children. Loving the grand children also means dropping them to school and other such free child minding services. Right?

not in a mood to blog.. Will update on Monday!

9 thoughts on “Pole Hugging grandma!

  1. That is really sad story. I saw the same thing with one of my acquaintance at work. His father expired and he brought his mom to US. After few months, he sent her to a different state to work as live-in a baby sitter in some Indian Home, with the excuse that she was getting bored and had nothing to do at home. After that he himself had kids, and brought his mother back to home to take care of his kids. I happened to see his mother in a temple in our city, and couldn’t believe my eyes. Rarely you get to see such a disheveled old women in US. Even though people are old, they still look “normal”. Her appearance, demeanor, clothes and hair spoke loudly, of conditions, she was living in. She was nothing but free labor for her son and daughter-in-law. The thing which boiled my blood was, he spoke so respectfully of her, when we went to greet her. He said: Maanji, yeh mere friends hai. That was the last day I even smiled, when I see him in hallways passing by. These are the great sons that most of the Indian parents pray to have.

  2. Happens all the time here in the US…people get their parents to visit them only when they are having babies or when the grandkids have summer vacation. And no, they dont even get to go sight seeing.

    When my parents visited me, everyone was asking if I was pregnant! And I had to tell each and every one that there is no “news” and my parents are just spending some time with me.

    It is not wrong to expect and receive some help from your parents, after all they are family. But these people go overboard and squeeze every last drop out of their aging parents.

  3. may b chaos is true… “squeeze every last drop out”…. are we going more industrialized? utilizing ‘resources’ to maximize ‘productivity’? Companies used to view people as resources… may be we got used to it and started seeing each fellow person as resource to win the world? and to become another grand parent? 🙂 cheer up sarah… weekend wishes for u 😀

  4. People try and save money at the wrong places…i always remind my wife with this saying ” penny wise pound foolish”….and u don’t necessarily have to take it in its literal sense…..

  5. very nice piece.
    there is a lot of talk back in kerala about how parents of NRIs suddenly come in demand once they become grandparents.
    but there is another angle to it too. That’s a stage in life when it boosts their self esteem of senior citizens to feel useful and wanted.

  6. Its very sad that some children treat their parents this way..
    But the thing is nobody notices when children actually take care of parents. When parents actually enjoy with their children here…

    Infact, even in India sometimes parents are only being used, but there since its their land too.. it doesnt come out this loud…

    Its a disgrace that some people treat their parents like labourers… but I appreaciate the people who actually love their parents being with them…

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