Grannies – sweet old ladies with their seemingly-odd mannerisms and unending love – all of us adore them! They mean a lot to us! Despite the entire hubbub about lack of respect/care given to the aged, grannies/grandpas enjoy a special status at most homes. Unlike what they show in the movies/TV shows et al, we don’t show the door to our grandparents, as far as I know. At least my parents and a lion’s share of adults shower a lot of respect and love to their parents! Actually, there’s this friend of mine who virtually refused to eat food for an entire week over the death of her beloved Grandfather – she (and her family) were so shell shocked at his sudden demise – such was the attachment she shared with her grandpa.
No, in this post, I do not intend to talk about the cruelties meted out to senior citizens. I’m summarily against such acts, yes, and I’m all for showering love and care to the elderly at home (not at decrypt, money-minting ‘old age homes’!!). As the title suggests, I’m focusing on grannies in this post, or more specifically, a very special trait shared by all grannies, a very feminine trait apparently forced upon to them by God almighty, ostensibly embedded in all their genes as they popped out of their mothers’ wombs. Frankly speaking, this trait is not just restricted to the elderly, but it becomes prominent in old age, due to some inscrutable reason – perhaps due to some enhancement in mental capabilities or even sheer joblessness.
It’s a proven fact that Grannies virtually win hands-down, when it comes to GOSSIPPING!
As I said, even modern science is at a total loss to explain this phenomenon! Perhaps, some anthropologist should do a research paper on this topic. Check out any home at any part of the world, grannies would be a long step ahead of other female residents in the family when it comes to gossiping! They’d get all news hot-delivered and they’d be the first to break it to the other younger members of the family. There’s some inter-granny communication mechanism to facilitate it. Perhaps, grannies develop invisible antennae which use some intracellular data transmission algorithm (with speeds that kick the shits out of even TCP/IP), transferring data at speeds to the tune of many Gigabits per second. Had it not been for the reduced efficiency of the ‘data-transfer’ (yes, like in Chinese whispers – the listener ‘receives’ a message that lacks the slightest resemblance with the ‘transmitted data’), they could’ve used it for the next version of Internet!
I wasn’t aware of this Inter-granny Communication Protocol (IgCP – for all your geeks! 😛 ), until I heard my sister’s experience – which was indeed astounding, for want of a better word! Her experience wasn’t exactly one in a million, a fact assured by multitudes of similar incidents narrated by other acquaintances. Needless to say, my sister bore the brunt of a very devastating IgCP transmission and it took me an hour of talk to console her. Whew.
The story goes like this. Lachu a.k.a Lakshmi (my first cousin) goes to visit her best friend Gayathri, a day before she leaves to Chennai for higher studies. Now, Gayathri (a.k.a. G3! Yes, crazy nicks! :P) is Lachu’s best friend. That is, if you see one of them alone, chances are that, the other person would be somewhere in a hundred square metre radius, anytime. So close, they were. They lived close to each other too; a fact that forever bolstered their sixteen year old companionship!
Needless to say, most of G3’s relatives have camped at her place, taking turns to ‘bid her goodbye’ (read: ‘lament her absence to the point of no-return’!) As Lachu hopped into G3’s room with her usual freewheeling charm, three grannies were competing to cuddle/kiss/pinch-her-cheek/caress-her-hair/advise her. Poor ol’ G3 was totally dazed with eyes rolling, as if in death row! Lachu’s arrival was too pleasant a surprise for her that she broke away with all her might and ran over to her buddy in capricious joy. That was when this salt-and-pepper haired granny curiously eyed Lachu, and beckoned to her with a smile. Servile and respectful that Lachu is, she goes to the granny and sits by her, at the place previously occupied by G3 and gives that charming sweet variant of her smile to the granny. This granny happens to be G3’s dad’s mother’s uncle’ aunt’s oldest daughter’s niece’s cousin, btw. Meanwhile, G3, exasperated, realizes what’s about to transpire and tries to warn her buddy, only in vain. The prey had fallen in the trap!
Granny: “Hey, you are Lakshmi right?”
Lachu (surprised): “Yes!”
Granny: “And you’re from the Earath house, near that Gopinathan Nair’s house?”
Lachu (dumbfound): “Yeah ammumma, you are right. I’m…”
Granny: “Your mom is Shobha no, and your dad is in the Gulf. How’s your sister doing?”
Lachu is now truly out of her mind, for this ammumma is from another part of the state and is visiting G3’s house for the first time! She has all the news in her fingertips! Whoa!
Granny: “Don’t you know Gopi?”
Granny: “Yeah, that’s right. Gayu mol’s (G3) cousin Gopi? The guy who’s doing his MBBS in Bangalore?”
Lachu: “Er… yeah, I do. I’ve seen him once or twice.”
Granny: “You guys talk a lot eh?”
Lachu: “Er… Not rea..”
Granny: “You guys did a party together when he touched down last year?”
Lachu (now totally aghast): “NNNOO…”
Granny: ”Oh, I guess you were great friends (<- special vocal emphasis) until a while back right?”
Granny 2 : “Hey, she’s blushing!”
Granny 3: “I think she’s sweating too! :P”
The fourth granny concurred to the opinion of her compatriots, while the first was now clasping and caressing Lachu’s right palm, casting menacing glances. And to add fuel to the fire, Lachu’s mom entered the room at that very opportune moment. She too stood surprised at all the ‘allegations’.
It took some very spirited tactics from G3’s part to extricate my poor ol’ sis out of the situation! The fact of the matter was that, Lachu barely knew this Gopi guy. They’d met at some random marriage reception and they’d exchanged pleasantries as they sat and ate together – that was a year or so ago. Some granny had noted them sitting together and yes, and urban gossip legend (in IgCP, nonetheless) was born! And my poor ol’ sis – she lost all her alluring charm for two days straight!
So, the next time you see a calm and placid granny, take a closer look, and ESCAPE! They’re ninjas in disguise!