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Connecting my Stories With Those of my mom and Grandma

2 min read

As an American teenager who lives with her mom and grandma, I am blessed to get the time to reflect and think about our diverse intergenerational experiences. Sometimes we have conflicting opinions and sometimes we think exactly the same views. I find that these similarities and differences are unique things to write in poetry form.

Oftentimes, we have a one-sided narrative about grandparents. Their thoughts and opinions are ignored, or their different perspectives are seen as abnormal. I wrote “three generations” to illustrate the beauty of our diverse viewpoints and stories in each generation. To construct a more representative narrative of the desi family, we need multiple perspectives and must find inspiration in our colorful intergenerational experiences.

[Read Related: My Telugu Grandmother and her Endless Native Folktales]

three generations

my grandma talks about how her father was a tax collector for the british
my mom talks about the trains she would take from india to bhutan
i tell them we covered imperialism in world history, and the importance of railroads. somehow my mom and grandma make world history seem less distant. closer.

my grandma tells me how she always wanted to work and learn to drive but never got the chance to do much of either
my mom tells me about when she got her first scooter, and how she rode a car up parking lot stairs when she first came here.
i don’t know what to say as i stare at my unfinished driver’s course.

my grandma tells me how she had to show my grandpa’s mom she could sew and sing before they married. it was the most intense interview she could imagine.
my mom tells me how she flew into dfw almost in tears that my dad wouldn’t show up, her thoughts muddled by friend’s stories. stories where the groom forgot to come, or left the girl at the airport. but my dad came. with a bouquet of red roses and an old honda.
i smile at rom-coms and read love stories and write my own.

my grandma’s words bubble with opinion
my mom’s ears listen to the opinion
i, like my grandma, unable to swallow judgment whole, glare at it and spit it back in poetry.

maybe the three of us are closer than we thought.

[Read Related: ‘To Nani, With Love’—What I Learned From my Grandmother’s Death]


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