Published: 08 Feb 2014
It is very comfortable that ammi is around. She takes my small one home from school, change, feed and wait until we come from work. My daughter loves to be with her (what the daughter who lives in Colombo thinks).
It is not easy to take my granddaughter chutie after school everyday. I have to take her home, feed and play until my daughter and her husband returns home. I can manage one or two days a week but not everyday. My backache is getting worse. (What the mother thinks).
My grandmother is very kind. She loves me a lot. When I dropped a flower vase at her home the other day I got scared and cried. If it's at our place, I would definitely get a slap at least on my wrist. But grandmother smiled and stroked my head and said "doesn't matter duwa those are breakable things." I really like to stay with her everyday. How wonderful it is if she comes and stays at our place. (What the granddaughter thinks).
My plan is to bring ammi to the UK for this summer holidays. We won't be able to go to Sri Lanka as we have lots to sort out. If ammi comes, we can leave the children at home with her. If not we have to hire a child minder which will cost us a fortune. No doubt my ammi will look after the kids very well. They will love to be with her too. The best thing is that ammi will cook and leave Sri Lankan food for us when we return from work everyday. (What the daughter who lives in London thinks).
I received a letter from my loku duwa who lives in London inviting me for a holiday during summertime. I haven't been abroad in my life. I really don't know what I can do there as I can't speak English. On the other hand, I cannot bear the cold and my wheeze might get worse. If my husband is still well enough, we both could have gone. I don't want to leave him alone. Who is going to give his medicine on time? I better go on pilgrimage to Dambadiva.(Mother thinks on receipt of the invitation).
I felt really happy when I saw loku duwa after many years. She really looks like me when I was young. Both granddaughters have grown a lot since I saw them last. They cannot utter a single word in Sinhala like suddiyo. I was really embarrassed when they all including Nihal kissed me in front of many people at the airport. You know I'm not used to that nonsense. Lokki wants me to stay there for three months. Will see. Tell chutie that I will come back soon. (A part of the first letter sent to the daughter in Colombo).
It is really difficult to stay here. All doors and windows are closed all day. Cannot see a neighbour. I don't know what sort of a person lives next door. I really don't fancy this life. Also it is too hot in the night too. They say that's how it is in the summer. Nihal says that some people sleep naked in the night. (A part of mother's second letter).
It is holiday time. I don't get any exercise. The girls are in their own world. The big one is always listening to music through her phone if not talking to someone. Small one's habit is reading. Sometimes, they watch TV. But they are not allowed to watch it in the night. Even I cannot watch some TV programmes. But Nihal is enjoying them. Sometimes the girls can't understand what I say. I don't understand what they say. In the evenings, they go for walks in shorts. Although they are not teens, they look mature. I asked lokki to get them some long skirts if it is too hot. I saw Nihal was looking at me sarcastically. I can't take these anymore. I feel like coming running back to Colombo when I think of chutie. Don't forget the monthly dane to the temple on the 15th. I doubt whether you will do it properly. I don't know how you maintain the garden. There will be lots of weeds around. Get Hendirik to maintain it. Please water the flower plants everyday. I will be coming soon. (A part of another letter by the mother).
Grandma is very nice and kind. Sometimes it is too much. But we like her. It is better if she can speak English. I like to have her for the next holiday too. (Granddaughters in London think).
Although the children in London have most of the comforts, some of them really miss one thing. That's the love of grandparents. How different it is from the parent's. When I think about it and remember my own childhood, a Sinhala poem comes to my mind. The closest translation is as follows.
"I remember, I remember our wonderful grandfather who drew a deer with a stick all over the garden,
The grandfather drew an art not only on the sand, but throughout my entire life"
Courtesy of dailynews.lk/features