Ask your granddaughter to wait until she is ten.
When the time comes, seek the consent of her mother, your hard-working daughter-in-law.
Pull out the thinnest needle, cotton thread, and a lump of beeswax from your sundry box. Rub wax on the thread to make it strong and then run it through the needle’s eye. Hold the needle in the flame of a candle to sterilize it.
Sit the ten-year-old on a stool in the breeze of your table fan. Tie up her hair and dot each delicate earlobe with your ballpoint pen. Give her candy to suck on.
Place your pet parrot on the girl’s arm and teach it some tunes. Let her feed it hot peppers to sharpen its tongue.
While whistling a tune, push the needle quickly and smoothly in with your right hand, stretching the lobe with the left. Cut the thread and tie its ends while blowing on the red lobe.
“Bahadur girl. Bewaqoof parrot.” Let your roaring laughter drown the pain.
Each month, dress up and trim your beard for going to the bank for your pension. Your granddaughters will ask you to get laddoos.
Save ten rupees each month per girl for gold earrings—60 rupees in total.
Gold is on a rise but your life isn’t. Only two of the six have gold in their ears when you die.
You cannot fill all the holes in one lifetime.
- Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar is an Indian American. She was born in a middle-class family in India and will forever be indebted to her parents for educating her beyond their means. She now lives in the United States. Her life is blessed with plenitude but she is oceans away from her family. That pain makes her write and express herself. Her work has been published in Ms Magazine blog, The Same, The Aerogram, The Sidereal, Star 82 Review among others. She blogs at PunyFingers.