Friday, September 05, 2008

Grandma

Today I was sitting in a restaurant in Little India, drinking teh tarik, watching the hustle and bustle around the restaurant, and waiting for The Man, when two women came to the restaurant and ordered sugar cane juice to take out - and I almost choked on my teh tarik because the older woman was MY GRANDMA.

My grandma died almost twenty years ago, but there she was, transformed into a tiny Indian woman in a blue sari.

It was a shocking experience. I imagined introducing myself to her. "Hello, I'm your granddaughter. Remember me?" I wanted to say, but didn't, because she still had that intimidating frown line between her eyes, and was glaring at the guy preparing the sugar cane as if she suspected that he was trying to cheat her. Grandma always looked like that. It was her default expression, even though underneath that frown she was a terrible softy. (I didn't find that out until quite late, unfortunately.)

There were only two differences between this woman and my Grandma. One was the skin colour, and the other was that the woman I saw today had more teeth. Two, in fact. Grandma didn't have any, at least none of her own.

I'm still feeling a little overwhelmed by this encounter. My grandma was the last person I expected to encounter in Little India.

3 comments:

Megane~kun said...

I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. *nods furiously*

My family and I were in a noodle shop near our house for a quick dinner when an old woman came in to have some noodles for take out.

All of us choked on our noodles. literally.

The hair, the face, even her mole was of the right size, color, and right on the same spot! The only thing that distinguishes her from my old 'Lala was the fact that she's alive.

After dinner, as we were talking about that weird apparition, a big black butterfly wafted nearby. And then my mother tearfully reminded us that yesterday was her death anniversary...

Anonymous said...

I love it when this happens - not my grandmother mind you, she was a horror, no softness under her frowns...

...but when, there I am, in a village north of Hanoi, on a mountain in Chile, in a back street in Naples... and there's Jim, large as life...

It's great having it driven home that our types, our genes, our whatevers, are so related, so much more powerful than ethnicity, let alone national differences...

That Sioux saying: "With all beings we shall be as relatives"!

Mabrook said...

Very Funny situation, though I understand your shock!!!