Dear G’pa

The next time you smile hugely and tell someone that Tambi is ensuring the family name lives on with Baby Button, I WILL TEAR YOU LIMB FROM LIMB and throw the pieces in the Ganges.

I carry as much blood of your blood as your son does (unless Ma knows something she is not telling us) and I look more like you, have your hothead and your easy smile. I am more you than your stupid son is. Right?

This grandson of yours adores you. This granddaughter of yours thinks the sun shines out of your posterior. Their day begins and ends with ‘G’pa says this..’ and ‘G’pa says that…’ They may be on the other end of the complexion scale but that is the only difference I see! They think Β you, they breathe you, they talk about you, they carry your genes, they worship you. Anything you say, is the Good Word (which is why I told you to stop bullshitting them about the boa constrictor you escaped).

And you – you’ve pressed my feet when I was pregnant, you’ve fed me by hand, you’ve taken me for walks and begged me to lose the baby weight once it was over, you’ve waited outside the OT, your face grey with worry while I delivered each one of them. You held them within ten minutes of their birth and I saw your heart melt. You talk about them to random strangers who don’t give a shit about your grandkids, you let them sit on your office table and play with your phones, I’ve seen you clean the carpet when they poop on it and glare at me when I scold them for it. Β I see you rock them to sleep at night, I watch you read to them, I’ve seen you risk your neck hanging upside down from a jungle gym to teach them, I notice you bathe and dry them tenderly, I see you plan your trips around a quick visit to Delhi.

We love Baby Button. We all do. BUT HE IS NOT THE ONLY ONE CARRYING ON YOUR FAMILY NAME. BOTH OF THEM CARRY IT and they do you proud. *koff koff* As do I.

So the next time you come up with something disgustingly patriachal and conservative (which is SO not you) I’m going to come home, rip up every bit of paper connecting you and me, delete your number off my phone and take the two of them to a hypnotist to remove every trace of memory they have of their awful old grandfather who has forgotten that they are his blood and his genes too.

Are we clear then?

Your very respectful, gentle, loving, mild daughter,



114 thoughts on “Dear G’pa

  1. And you think my Comment was Sweet ? πŸ˜›

    Sweet is what this Blog is I say !! πŸ™‚ What is it if not for what I said — an absolute family delight !! All those relations which I could never experience — I get to experience it here ! πŸ™‚

    Keep writing — keep making me/us feel at home ! πŸ™‚

  2. Poor old G’Pa was probably just excited about Baby Button… and unlike here they will no hyphens in Baby Button’s name…
    yes, yes, i will duck for cover now

  3. I am so supporting you here MM ((gasp)) How can G’pa do this? So yeah, I’m with you in this. I’ll even come along with you carrying some Strepsils for you just in case your throat gets sore with all the shouting. And oh, I’m even donating a shredder for this important cause so you dont have to tear all the papers with your bare hands. I believe in every word you wrote in this post, SO much. Errrr except for that ‘mild’ daughter bit πŸ˜‰

  4. Amen, Sister πŸ™‚

    Though in my case, it is slightly different. We carry our mom’s family name. Matrilineal society and all πŸ™‚ So, daughters’ and their offspring “ensure the family name lives on” πŸ˜€

  5. LOL… after all that you have written how could you sign it off as “Your very respectful, gentle, loving, mild daughter”…

    And yeah way to go MM. We wont take such statements from your father.

  6. People of the blogosphere, you know who not to mess with, today πŸ˜€

    And G’pa, pls to make amends unless, you know, you would like your limbs to go take a swim in the Ganges πŸ˜€

  7. Ack !! I am so glad I am not in G’pa’s shoes right now. Worse, to be in your mom’s who I am sure will have to hear both of you rant to her . But you have the blog , so spare the ma , will you ?

    But yes, I hear you . My dad’s not grown out of his ghise-pitte ways in some areas as well.

  8. Awww. Don’t agree with G’Pa’s statement (but of course), but can’t help falling in love with him also! Sounds so much like my own dad and looks konjam like him also.
    And what total ‘Olebabale’ pics.

  9. Another wow post :)Its so well written that u only have to tell ur dad to read it once and ur mom will never have to hear ur dad’s side of the argument !(coz he wont have any left:))

    PS: For a sec, I thot u were talking to ur G’pa!

    • My mum thinks surnames are all crap. that we should just have surnames and get on with it. finds this whole ‘carrying on my life’ argument to be bullshit too. ma is definitely very progressive and pared down to the basics on certain matters.

  10. Gosh, family name and all that nonsense! That is one reason I wanted a girl, because most of my aunts wanted me to have a boy, because my parents have both girls!
    What is the big deal, girl, boy, who cares? And when seemingly sensible people say things like that, it is worse. But from your blog, it sure seems like he must have been jo0king, or not very serious about what he said. Cut the old man some slack πŸ™‚

    • LOL! i’m going to have to save you from him for calling him an old man first πŸ˜‰
      and yeah – I think its a generational thing. On the other hand he is so cool that at times I feel old fashioned around him. but yes, he was joking and you know me – I just need a spark to write a post!

  11. that is so sad-unfortunately that is how most of indians still think. anyway who cares, family names and all are such silly thing right?

  12. Ha!ha! I like you ‘mild’ tone MM. BTW when was baby button born & why are you not here (in the US) to see him? πŸ˜‰

  13. I see you said it was a joke, but my comment still stands in my context.

    Social conditioning runs deep….my father is the same way in this – my kids are his *only* gkids, and he adores them, but there is a core of sadness that “his name” is not being propagated. (Brother has no kids)

    I take comfort in the reflection that times are changing, albeit slowly – my maternal grandfather would never come stay with us – daughter’s house BS – my father thinks nothing of that, and would happily live with us if he could. He also takes inordinate pride in his grandson being very like him in aptitudes and doesn’t hesitate to claim the kids when they do particularly well πŸ™‚ So baby steps…I’ll live with that, and ensure that my daughter never feels she is any less than her brother in our eyes, because ultimately, I can only pay it forward.

    • See, they are another generation. Its hardwired. This has been their thought process for 60 years now. How hard it must be to change it no? I wouldn’t want to be harsh on them for it – see how gentle I was with him? πŸ˜‰

      that said, i think its merely words now. with all due respect to Baby Button and Bean – the first grandchild is the first grandchild. for all his name nonsense, my dad will never love anyone like he loves my son. that i am sure of.

      • THAT is sooooooo true MM. NO ONE can ever replace the first grandchild!

        In my family too..tho i know my G’parents dote on me helluva lot..the way they love my sister is different. She is their 1st grandchild and it doesn’t matter that they have 5 more after her.
        Ditto when my ma was born in 1959 ! She was the 1st grandchild n that too a girl in the family after 2 generations of just boys…My nanaji’s family ( parents, brothers n their wives) YET pamper her and insist on feeding her(really!!) or making her rest her head on their lap. I feel so happy and jealous about the kind of love n affection she gets.

  14. Baby button is here??? Woo hooooooooo !!!! Details pleaseeeeeeee. Hope the mother and baby are fine?

    I feel sorry that you have collected a team of blog-readers up against dear G’pa .. but yet, I MUST join the team πŸ˜›

    Dear g’pa must be so proud of his creation, especially after reading this post πŸ˜€

    Ur sign-off is soooooooo funnnie !!

  15. I am waiting to hear your dad’s response :).
    I am with you and agree with what you said in this post, coz, I have also seen this in my own case :(.

  16. Oh brilliant post lady.. i so know what you feel… i come from a patriarchal family and married into a marwari family which is equally patriarchal if not more….And i couldn’t agree with you more! It does hurt!

    What was g’pa’s response to the threat?!

  17. how can you threaten him like that yaar? he is SOOO cute. i cannot believe he bathes them and hangs from the jungle gym… he is just so cute! (no way my dad would have done such things, he would have told them all extremely good stories though.. and taught them to sing maybe…at any rate i dont have to worry about the gender thingie as its only sis and i! ha!)

    • i threaten him because i can live to tell the tale. he’s adorable and he knows it. in his youth he got away with his looks, now its his charm. the man needs someone keeping him on the straight and narrow. and yes, i elected myself to be that person πŸ˜€

  18. Baap re! I WILL TEAR YOU LIMB FROM LIMB and throw the pieces in the Ganges… made my softheart skip a beat (Am I the only one??)!! thought you are talking to your G’pa.

    rest of the usual superbly justified.

  19. I was so surprised at the tone of this post – hotheaded, sparky, not at all like you MM πŸ˜›

    And then I saw the “your mild, respectful, etc daughter” and I’m glad that I don’t have to revise my opinion. The Mild, Meek, MM. Just like I always thought she was πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

  20. great post. have been reading your blog for a while.
    an incident that came to mind after reading this post – my only brother (27)passed away last january and some people told my dad that now there is no one left to carry his family name ( brother was the only male child in the khandaan), and my dad told them off saying he has 2 daughters who will have kids soon and will carry on his name. i was so proud of him. and since then have been dreaming about getting pregnant ( can’t though as of now, have some stuff to sort out before i take on that responsibility) and now for his sake i sometimes think i will be happy if i have a son (though i want a daughter so bad).
    keep writing.

  21. OOOO! He had that one coming huh! I am going to hide behind you, oh mild sweet daughter of G’pa and say, I am on your side of the fence on this one! *gulp*

  22. Since it is no unlike your dad, It sounds like he is irritating you just for the heck of it πŸ™‚ But thats something brothers do(irritate), and dads are supposed to be supporting us daughters πŸ™‚

  23. I never changed my name post-marriage since I don’t view myself as transferrable property. My kids (if and when) will bear a hyphenated last name signifying the fact that they are my husband’s and mine. I am an only child and it does matter to ME (not sure about my dad) that my family name isn’t blotted out.

    • actually i dont know about your opinion on this but the family name business is patriachal by definition isnt it? we’ve got our father’s name and we want to carry it on. what about your and my mother’s name? transferable or not, we’ve clearly marked ourselves out as property!
      i dont really care about archaic notions like family name – i just didn’t like the idea of changing my name because i was used to it. period. and i object to the notion that a girl must drop everything she has grown up with and meld into the boy’s family as though she has no desires or habits or culture of her own.
      and with this carrying on a family name business – i again, dont feel that i must carry on my dad’s name – but i do object to the idea that only my brother’s son can do it. if at all, my children can do it too. they carry my father’s surname, hyphenated with my husband’s. please note. they’re father and husband. clearly those of us who care, need to rethink this entire thing.

      • Oh MM, I’ve wanted to ask for your opinion on this for such a long time. I didn’t change my name post marriage either, and now we’re thinking of having a baby. I can’t help but wonder if part of why I didn’t feel like changing my name was because my mom and dad and sister had it too. I’m concerned how my kids will feel about their mom and dad having two different last names, and their own hyphenated last name being different from either of those. Have the Brat and Bean ever questioned you on this? What did you say to them…?

        • kids never find anything strange. they take life as you give it to them. my kids have our hyphenated names and they think nothing of it. i have friends who didnt change but let their kids take the husband’s name. those kids find nothing strange either. i have friends who gave their kids two first names and no surname eg – Aryan Aadit. I have friends who give the husbands first name as the surname – south indian style – even if they are north indian, because they dont like the idea of the child taking the father’s family name and are okay with his first name. do what you want. if you dont think its strange, your kids wont either. all the best!

      • So true. I used to think of making a last name just from the first names of mom and dad hyphenated πŸ™‚ Well, which one comes first, the mom’s. πŸ™‚ Oh atleast its nice to imagine!

  24. You see the thought of the females in the family continuing with the family name after marriage is rather new to our generation and still looked upon as not the genuine article. Having said that, I can see why my daughter has taken umbrage over a simple statement made to my family that the distinctive family name will live on.

    This whole thing has suddenly brought back to mind the first time we met our to be samdhis. The meeting was to try and sort out the various issues that they had (we had none) regarding the impending marriage. Things were not going too well and to add to that the daughter suddenly pipes up and says that she and the children will carry her family name. I couldn’t believe my ears. Couldn’t this have waited for an appropriate time?! That was it – the last straw. The samdhis took our leave saying it was nice meeting us, a very lovely girl, etc, etc, but no way is she going to be suitable as a daughter in law.

    So looking back I can see how fiercely she has held on to that name and what she was willing to sacrifice for it. I am now convinced that it therefore deserves a lot more respect than I have given it in the past.

    I hope I am off the hook now and I will have my limbs intact – if not for anything else but to sock that guy who said β€œwhat’s in a name?” He probably didn’t have a daughter like mine. I guess not everyone is blessed that way.


  25. WHY WHY oh WHY is there no “like” button for comments ?? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Some of them here were so awesomely likable !!

  26. I desperately need a ‘share on mail’ button. I share your posts with so many friends it’s a pain to go into gmail each time and copy yr link.
    Oh and super post… mild momma :-D.

  27. You are just too good! I loved ‘the sun shines out of your posterior’ part πŸ™‚ and your dad’s response….what an I say! Beautiful!,

  28. My parents have 2 daughters…so I am not sure if he ever thinks about it. But the one thing that ‘I’ was proud about when I had my babies, since I still have my maiden name. They were Bansal babies. It felt awesome even if it was for 4 days exactly πŸ™‚

      • that reminded me of my pregnancy days. My surname is “Nair”, which I have not yet changed, and my husband is “Kurup”. I was in the scanning room and the nurse calls out to my husband as “Mr. Nair”. I was so thrilled, may be a stupid sentiment, but still.

        I am used to people referring to me as “Mrs. Kurup” though I have not changed my name, so having my husband referred as “Mr. Nair” for once just excited me πŸ™‚

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