A Love Like Theirs | Alice Swan

I looked around the food stalls, searching for my bade nanaji while badi nani was busy conversing with my aunt. Bade nanaji and badi nani were my grandmother's elder brother and his wife and for me, another set of grandparents whom I adored. Though our interactions hadn't been as frequent as one would expect, my admiration for them never lessened. If our family were to have an 'it' couple as we millennial say, then it had to be them (if only I was not baised towards my grandparents). 

I have grown up listening their stories, especially ones about the pranks bade nana played on badi nani. They are family favorites and everyone remembers them by heart. But every time we told each other those stories, we all could feel the love hidden in those pranks, the sparks that must have flown between them. 

And upon my word, didn't the man love her? He adored her in every way possible that existed in the universe. 

"Can you see him?" My aunt asked me. I looked at badi nani who was looking in the opposite direction and I carefully pointed towards the salad station of the buffet. My aunt understood the reason for my discretion the moment she spotted bade nana selecting a variety of salads and stir fried vegetables for his beloved wife. 

This was not going to go well.

Badi nani had trouble standing for a long hours so she had asked bade nana to get her dinner. By dinner I am sure she meant all her favorite sweets from the buffet, but definitely not the salads, her doctor had recommended her. 

But from the looks of it, bade nana probably wanted to try his luck. 

He even picked up small flower made with delicately cut tomatoes and arranged it all carefully to make it look as appealing as he could for his wife. 

Once he finished garnishing the dishes, he turned around and searched for us. Aunt and I waved at him but he didn't notice us. By this time badi Nani had noticed him too and waved with us.

It was for only a minute when the two had locked their eyes, but it was enough for anyone to notice the effect it had on both of them. Badi Nani smiled a little and diverted her gaze away from him, as if she was shy of his intent gaze, while bade nana looked at her with the eyes of a man reliving all the his life's beautiful moments. 

He brought the plate carefully to her but before he could keep it on the table, she turned towards him, annoyed and irritated. She didn't look like a shy woman she was few minutes back. 

"Is this what you think I will eat?" She said with sheer annoyance. 

In one swift move bade nana turned around taking away the salad plate back to the salad counter, as if it was never meant for her. With his hung low, like child who was asked to return his toy, he returned the plate to the man on the counter. 

He came to the table after few minutes, looking smug. He kept a plate of jalebis, some kachoris and a bowl of gulab jamuns. 

Soon he had filled the table with all the sweets he could find. But he wasn't finished.

At last, he kept a plate gingerly right in the centre. It had the same small flower made with delicately cut tomatoes he had got earlier and some sprouts around it. 

Badi nani looked at him again, but a little amused this time. 

She picked up her spoon and took her first bite from the plate he had kept at last.

Instagram handle: @a25swan.