The angriest bird alive

So my grandmother turned 83 yesterday. She is a total angry bird.

My angry bird grandmother is totally NOT HAPPY that she's 83.

She looks like an angry bird because she’s not smiling, and she’s not smiling because she seldom smiles.

Angry bird.

Why doesn’t she smile often? Because she doesn’t have a full set of teeth.

Now, why she doesn’t get dentures is beyond me, but hey – if she’s happy without false teeth, so am I.

Nani and I

That is: I’m happy for her too. Not that I’m happy without false teeth – but that’s another story for another day.

BECAUSE! The story I wanted to share with everyone is this:

My grandmother celebrated her 83rd birthday yesterday so we all went over to her place for dinner.

Not all of us, mind you – my useless sibling and cousins are either injured, overseas or gainfully employed.

So I had no choice but to sacrifice what little time and freedom I had being unemployed to represent the grandchildren at dinner.

During dinner, my aunts (and possibly, my mother) were yet again proselytising in an attempt to get me to join the weird-ass spiritual/religious thingamajigs they participate in.

I, of course, wasn’t having any of that, so I just carried on eating the carb-fest on my plate a.k.a. Sindhi food.

Upon noticing how I was being harassed unnecessarily, my very awesome angry bird grandmother then started relating a story to the dinner party about how ‘Kamal’ once told everyone at Sindhu House that he didn’t believe in any other god/teacher because the only god/teacher he believed in was his mother.

(OK – perhaps to understand the significance of this statement, you need to read this story.

It may or may not have been the context that was being referred to, but it’ll help to contextualise the role of the mother in Indian [Asian?] culture.)

For the record, I don’t understand Sindhi very well and I needed some translation too – so my grandmother may have been misquoted.

Nevertheless, right after my angry bird grandmother uttered that statement in her angry bird voice, a hush befell the table.

I was, like, “Oh my gosh, Nani – you’re awesome!” and stood up to give her a hug while muttering “Hug for you but none for the aunties.”

She gave a toothy chuckle, and said in Sindhi, right after I sat down, “Pass the papad.”

Well, I guess some things never change, huh.

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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