My Grandma – Lila

10th October 2016

My Grandma - Lila

Guest Post by Vida's Raina Shivdasani

Lila and I

Lila and I

My grandmother has been one of the greatest influencers in my life, she has been nothing short of a second parent to me.

Being an only child my parents always wanted me to be close to my grandparents and, therefore, we all lived together. My small family of five was my safe haven – and our house, my sanctuary.

Over the past 23 years, the relationship I’ve built with my grandma is unparalleled. She has mothered me, right from scolding me for being a naughty child – to being my biggest cheerleader in life; we’ve formed a deep and unbreakable bond.

I’ve always admired her for the golden soul she is. Her compassion towards the less fortunate, love towards her family and determination towards her work is what makes her such an inspiration – let me not forget to mention that she’s an absolute DIVA !

Our Afternoon Siestas

Our Afternoon Siestas

My fondest childhood memory is of the time I spent with my grandparents every afternoon after coming home from primary school. I would come home to find my grandma waiting for me at the door with the biggest smile and the tightest hug.

One of our favourite spots was the balcony, my grandma would feed me my lunch there and tell me stories while we looked out and watched the birds. But, the best part of my day was most definitely our afternoon siestas. After lunch I used to dive into bed in-between my grandparents and watch cartoons with them. They spoilt me rotten by allowing me to watch as much television as I wanted, and then we all retired for a one-hour nap.

After our afternoon siestas, my grandparents would get ready to go to the country club for their daily game of cards from 4 to 5pm. I would continue watching my cartoons in their room and include myself in their outing in any way possible – which was usually by choosing what the both of them would wear to the club. I took upon myself the responsibility of making sure my grandparents looked their best - and I took it very seriously. It was my way of taking care of them the way they did of me, and, it made me feel very important. They of course humoured me and wore whatever I chose (well, most of the time). I would watch my grandma apply her make-up perfectly and would comb my grandad's hair, trying my best to cover his bald patch, before they both left.

This became a daily routine on years’ end and the memories I have of those precious afternoons are irreplaceable.

My rock

My rock

Unfortunately, my grandma was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago. They say cancer is a sickness best battled by the mind rather than body – that’s exactly what my grandma has abided by. She has fought the disease with her positive attitude, zest for life and endless courage.

She hasn’t only fought this disease once, but thrice. Each time she comes out heartier and shows us what an absolute rockstar she is. It is her resilience and love for life which has helped her through this. Being by her side during this tumultuous time has made us even closer (if that’s possible) and has made me stronger and wiser. I have learnt the value of each day, appreciating the people who are always there for me and living every moment of life to the fullest without having any regrets.

At 85 years of age, my grandma stands miles apart from any other woman her age. Although her perfectly set hair, manicured nails and sophisticated sense of style are some of the things contributing to this, it is her jovial, youthful nature that makes her so special to every single person who knows her.

In honour of World Grandparents Day yesterday, I want to salute my grandma for being the best parent, guardian and friend to me. Most people say life is too short, but she has taught me that life is as beautiful as you make it, so live it and love it.