17th September, 2016

SINGING BHAJANS WITH DADI

“If you really want to spend quality time with your grandparents, do what they like, not what you enjoy doing for them “

I learned it through singing bhajan with Dadi (Grandmother). While doing evening walk, six month back, I saw few grandparents siting on the park & chatting. That gave me a thought, that why not as a society, we plan some activities for them in the evenings. The luxury of living in a small town is that, your neighbours are also your family & you have plenty of time.  I thought why don’t we we all plan something together. 

I was having the thoughts like, we all should make a community & do bhajan with them and many other ideas were coming in the same line. On my way back home, another thought came, ” itni badi badi batein sochna aasan hain aur bolna ki ye karna chahiye ya ye nahin, tu khud kya karti hain “(It is very easy to think what supposed to be done or not, but are you really doing the same) 

This gave a feeling of guilt of not doing enough for them , and I came back home & told Dadi, let’s do bhajan today. I still remember her reaction, she was lost & speechless for some time. She said ” Aj tabiyat tho thik hain na – Bhajan- kya ho gaya hian” ( Are you ok ? Bhajan – what has happened to you ?) I Replied, I just want to sing it with you everyday. Let’s make it a ritual & we will continue it everyday. She was delighted & I was happy to feel that emotion in her face. We started with two bhajan on that day. 

Next day, around 7 pm, Dadi called me : Guddo – Come, we will do bhajan now. I was working on something & was not totally in a mood to sing bhajan at that time. On that I realized, it is very easy to make plans and give commitments, but to continue it requires efforts & patience. I said Dadi, please let’ s not do it today. I promise, we will be regural from tomorrow. She smiled & said ok. 

Going to bed, the guilt started sinking in again.The very next morning, I called all my aunt to send me bhajans, that we used to sing in my childhood as it is easier for me to relate to them.I also did my research in  internet & found few that I could sing.  By evening, I had a dairy of bhajan ready. Now , I still feel honoured to own a handwritten dairy of bhajan. It reminds of my grandmother’s era. 

Few days passed by & I realized  that she is not participating in singing along us. She used to just sit, smile & listen. Then I realized, she couldn’t relate to the genre of bhajan I found on internet. She loves to sing kirtan & Radha-Kirshna, Shankar -Parvati bhagwan’s bhajan(Indian god & goddess devotional song), & Artis they used to sing during their time.

I did my research again & found lots of them.We now sing them & she loves it. It gives a new energy to her & she sings along with us the whole time. We are still not regural but try our best to do it everyday 🙂 

It made me realise at that time, we want our grandparents to change at the age of 80, we expect them to mould with the trend. We feel, there is a generation gap & we don’t have anything common to talk to.I don’t see anyone’s fault in this, because it is hard for us to relate with their rituals & likes at times & sometimes we don’t see any logic & meaning behind it. 

I myself, have explained it  to dadi many times, ” Dadi, aise puja path se kuch nahi hota hain, bhagwan aise khush nahi hote hain, ap sab chod do ” ( You will get nothing out of this rituals, God will not be happy with this, You please leave it all) 

Singing bhajan with her, made me realise “how wrong I was “. She has lived with this belief for her whole life, Who I am to challenge it & deny it. Who am I , trying to changer her ? If I want to do something for her & spend time with her, I should find out what she likes & should do that. 

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“My Grandparents”
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