My Grandmother’s Protective Armor

My Grandmother’s Protective Armor

My grandmother (father’s mother) was blind. She was born with seeing eyes. How and at what age she lost them I do not know. It probably happened after her marriage at age 16. She had already learned all the skills needed by a homemaker in those days. For instance she could cook, wash, clean house, hand stitch clothes and spin yarn. She was a good wife and a valuable friend to many relatives and women in the neighborhood.

She bore and raised six girls and two boys. They were born normally at home and all of them grew up to be able and responsible adults. Evidently, mothering was another one of her strong skills. From my father, uncle and aunts I have heard how well she guided and controlled them at every stage.

Grandmother was a deeply spiritual person. She clearly felt and trusted the Life force around her, particularly in animals and plants. 

As the homemaker and provider for her children her first task of the day was to grind the wheat to make the flour with which to make chapattis. The family practice was to buy a whole year’s supply of wheat at harvest time in April. It was stored in one of the two large rooms on the ground floor.

The grain attracted mice and there were always cobras in the room that ate and controlled their number. The cobras also guarded the grain from human thieves.  

Grandmother knew that there were cobras in the room. Yet for 40 years, without fear, she went into the grain room every morning at about 4:30am to collect the required measure of wheat and other grains. She entered the room with a little oil lamp in her hand, which she put on a little lamp ledge built into the wall. Then she would fold her hands and say something to the following effect: “Nag Devatas (divine beings) I cannot see you but I know you are there. Please forgive me for disturbing you. I have come to take some grain to feed the family. I will be here for only a few minutes. Kindly move out of my way.” She would then take the grains and the lamp and walk out. No harm ever came to her.

October 4, 2008