Society

My granny youngest

Geetha Isidore with Rishon. Photo: R. Ravindran  

Young granny sounds like an oxymoron. It isn’t. In their forties, Renu Mahbubani, Geetha Raju Isidore and Deepa Kamboj knew what it means to be a grandmom. A forty-something grandma at a christening party is a curiosity. Predictably, when they attained granny status, reactions ranged from disbelief to amusement.

Three generations back in time, they would have hardly evoked any notice. Back then, young grandmas were as common as teens in a disco. Grannihood fell into the laps of women in their thirties. But today, personal ambitions, including education, career and fussiness in the choice of a partner, have slowed down the gallop to grannihood. It’s not even a trot, but a trudge.

In fact, the three women are themselves pleasantly surprised at what they find themselves in. Renu, a little less surprised. Because, when pronounced a grandmother at 45, she had company.

“When my grandson Ved Rohra was born, he made two women young grandmas. Pooja Rohra, his paternal granny, is six months younger than I. She was 45, too, then,” laughs Renu.

Deepa Kamboj became a grandmom at 49. In the months leading up to grannihood, she was in a daze.

“It’s too early, I thought,” says Deepa.

However, shock was replaced with joy as she began to reap the benefits of having a grandchild early. Her granddaughter Suhaan, now six, treats her as a friend.

“She calls me Nana. Not Naniji.” The girl treats Deepa as her playmate, as she has the energy to match the little one’s exuberance.

“As I am not too old, I can run around with my grandkids, Suhaan and Amaan,” says Deepa.

With fewer years separating such grandmas and their grandkids, the generation gap is narrower.

“They can easily relate to my bedtime stories. I enjoy the comic books I read out to them,” says Deepa.

Renu lives in Mahalingapuram and her grandson Ved, a UKG student, in Neelangarai. His parents leave him with Renu when unexpected work knocks on their door. Renu and Ved also spend the weekends together.

“We play Word Fuse on my iPad. We play carom. We play computer games. He’s tech-savvy because of me. I am almost professional at Word Fuse. When he is with me, he does not miss his playmates who are of his age. Of course, he misses his pet dog, Vegas. The little boy and the dog share a special bond,” says Renu.

Not just the grandchild. The entire family seems to benefit from having a young granny at home.

“My son-in-law and daughter have an active social life, because Pooja and I can take care of Ved alone,” says Renu.

“I live on Sterling Road, and my grandson Rishon, in Saidapet. My daughter is pursing a doctorate. When she has to give extra time to her studies, she sometimes drops Rishon off at my house,” says Geetha Raju Isidore, who attained grandmon status at 49.

Does baby-sitting, though joyful, force sacrifices from these grannies? Most professionals peak in their forties and fifties. Do responsibilities as a granny interfere with personal goals?

Deepa does not pursue a career. She lives in a different city and only visits her grandchildren. Therefore, she has only little of a balancing act to do.

Geetha assists her husband in his work. The Isidores run a hotel opposite the Egmore railway station. A heritage home project is underway in Puducherry.

“I give first priority to my grandson. When he’s around, I’ll drop anything that I am doing,” says Geetha.

“Both Pooja and I have an active social life too. But both of us would rather have Ved’s company. Five months ago, I closed down my boutique of 23 years. It was not due to Ved. However, since then, I am able to spend more time with him,” says Renu.

The forties and early fifties is the right age for a grandchild, apparently for another reason.

“It’s the time when many begin to feel an emptiness. A grandchild is the way out of it,” says Renu.

It is believed a grandchild arriving early can best help deal with midlife crisis. He/she also brings grandpa and grandma together in a refreshed love. A little bundle in their arms in those years can be a binding force.


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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 10:11:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/how-does-it-feel-to-be-a-young-grandmother/article6369867.ece

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