aaji - my grandmother

by suyash bhardwaj


“In our village, folks say God crumbles up the old moon into stars”

 - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“Do you know what true love is Aaji?”

Shumi Bhosale is going to turn 15. Her parents had an occupied and demanding life. She was irritated due to the lack of her parents and the emotional roller coaster she faces as a teenager makes it worse. Her girlfriends often talk about their private matters with their mother. The need to share her considerations and thoughts was extremely important for her. Shumi spent a lot of time with her grandmother and loved her more than her parents. The void in Shumi's life was filled with magnificent tales of her grandma, her "Aaji".       


Shirish's mom, affectionately called "Aaji", committed her life to Shirish. Aaji lived the greater part of her life in a peaceful village. The sentiment of nostalgia wrapped her whenever she meets anybody from her village. The mere mention of her village revitalized her wrinkled petite face. The energy and excitement with which she talked about her village took her back to her adolescence. Her memory is amazingly sharp for a woman her age. The village was a crucial part in her life from which she could never part away. Shirish's dad died not long after he was conceived. The stigma attached to a widow haunted the bereaved mother and the locals ensured they would spare her no horrors. She was not agitated and kept on persevering through the insults and mistreatments doled out on her. Her Father-in-law couldn't see her affliction.


Aaji's Father-in-law was a teacher in a government school. Everybody in the village called him "Nanaji". He called his sibling, who worked as an inn director in one of the greatest lodging networks of the time and lived in Mumbai, requested that he take Aaji with him. There was a great deal of opposition from Aaji's parents. They needed her to meticulously pursue the customs of a widow and deal with her kid in the village. Additionally, they did not want Aaji to live outside of the village. They dreaded the social criticism they would need to confront from the villagers if Aaji left for Mumbai with her son. She already had caused a colossal turmoil for the town in her childhood and did not need another furor. Nanaji stood rebelliously against Aaji's parents. After a lot of persuasion and discussion, Nanaji was able to convince his in-laws and Aaji was permitted to leave the village and make another life for her in Mumbai. Nanaji's brother helped Aaji settle in Mumbai alongside Shirish who was not mature enough to grasp what was going on around him. Aaji never needed to leave the town yet she realized she had to for her son. She wanted Shirish to excel much beyond what she can ever imagine for herself. For this to happen, she needed to leave the village. Mumbai presented a brilliant possibility and she acknowledged it with both her arms wide open. Her conviction bore fruit when Shirish found a lucrative job at the most reputed firms in India. Shumi revered her Aaji's constancy, fortitude, and kindness.

Shirish met Karunya through a mutual friend. They met a couple of times before they began dating. It was what you would call an ideal couple who are made for each other. Shirish proposed to wed Karunya. She was over the moon. Shirish was anxious whether Aaji will accept Karunya. Aaji was at first stunned to hear that Shirish planned to wed Karunya. She used to work as a writer. Aaji wanted to meet Karunya before she could express anything to Shirish about it. Karunya and Aaji met on various occasions. Aaji gradually accepted Karunya. Her optimism and kind nature caught Aaji's heart. Shirish was happy that Aaji approved of Karunya. They were hitched in the year 2002 and had a beautiful baby girl, Shumi Bhosale. Aaji cherished the profound expressive eyes of her amazing little girl. She was reminiscent of her great grandmother. Shumi cherished the landscape of the evening dusk from her grandma's balcony. The faint light fell delicately on her chocolate complexion and the breeze coursing through her sway hair made her glorious.

"Do you know what true love is Aaji?" asked Shumi.


Her face conveyed a dreary and dull appearance. Vikram and Shumi were in the same class. Vikram revered Shumi from the absolute first day he met her. Shumi enjoyed his attention however she couldn't muster up the courage to say how she feels. This unexpressed feeling inside sank her heart.

Aaji took a gander at her and grinned.

"Do you love Vikram?"

Shumi was quiet and her face flushed.

She shares everything to Aaji. For Shumi, Aaji was her world. Aaji knew about her granddaughter's affections towards Vikram and her fear of not able to convey her feelings. She takes in a full breath.

"Would you like to hear a story?"

Shumi got interested. She took a gander at Aaji. Aaji gazed straight into the evening light as she narrated a fantastic story of a young girl.