The Importance of Grandparents: Why They Matter

A grandfather’s treasured legacy: A Mangalorean tale

Sanjana’s eyes would be fixed on the sizzling pot. "But how do you know when it's done?" "Ah, that's the secret," he'd chuckle. "You'll know by the aroma. When it fills the air and makes your stomach rumble, that's when it's ready."

“Now, Sanjana, pay close attention,” her grandfather would say as he stood over the stove, expertly stirring a bubbling pot of fish curry. Sanjana’s eyes would be fixed on the sizzling pot.

“But how do you know when it’s done?”

“Ah, that’s the secret,” he’d chuckle. “You’ll know by the aroma. When it fills the air and makes your stomach rumble, that’s when it’s ready.”

Sanjana’s grandfather was a culinary maestro. His claim to fame was his scrumptious fish curry, a dish he lovingly prepared every Sunday in his cozy Mangalore home. Sanjana would often stand by, wide-eyed, as he expertly blended spices and let the fish simmer in coconut milk. Those sumptuous meals were always accompanied by his captivating stories and hearty laughter.

The aroma of his cooking lingered vividly in her memory but one of her most treasured activities with her grandfather was their leisurely strolls through their vast cashew farm. “Sanjana, do you see this tree?” he’d asked once, pointing to a towering cashew tree with branches heavy with fruit. “It’s been in our family for generations. These cashews are special, just like you.”

Sanjana would look up at him with wonder. “Why are they special, Grandpa?”

“Because they connect us to our roots,” he’d replied. “Just like these trees, our family’s history is deeply rooted in this land.”

The grandfather-granddaughter bond extended beyond the farm. In fact, it was her grandfather who introduced her to their vibrant culture. One fine day, he’d loudly announced, “Sanjana, today we’re going to experience something truly magical. You’ll be transported to a world of vivid colours and mesmerising stories.” And just as he had predicted, she was indeed spellbound by the intricate makeup and the talent of the Yakshagana performances.

“Grandpa, these characters look amazing! Who are they?”

“They depict mythological stories,” he’d explained. “They bring our history and legends to life.”

On another occasion, he’d taken her to see the Pili Vesha, a tiger dance that celebrates the coastal region’s spirit. The pulsating drumbeats and the dynamic dancers left an indelible mark on her young heart.

“Grandpa, look at those dancers! They’re so energetic,” she’d exclaimed.

“Yes, they encapsulate the essence of our coastal heritage,” he’d replied with a smile. “This is our culture, Sanjana and it’s something to be proud of.”

Many years later, as Sanjana got ready for her friend’s grandfather’s birthday celebration one evening, all these beautiful memories washed over her. She felt a deep sense of gratitude towards her grandfather. She felt thankful for the moments of learning, love and connection she had shared with him. His wisdom and diverse experiences had enriched her life and instilled a deep sense of appreciation for the traditions and culture of Mangalore. She knew the importance of grandparents and that the lessons and memories she had gathered from her grandfather would stay with her forever, just like his love.




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