The Forbidden Sweetlime!

Growing up, fruits were always a luxury to us. Being in a middle class family, we kids better knew differentiating ‘a need’ and ‘a want’. Dad and Mum would never let us know their difficulties finding money by the end of the month, but we could somehow sense it. We always played along and we were never deprived of anything, anything would come into hands even before we could think of it. Life was so happy.

It was the period when we built our dream house, a house that would speak of my dad’s hard work, dedication and discipline. We had to get two home loans and life just turned upside down. On the happier note, we did have our dream house but it was too difficult for dad to manage the home budget with most of his salary gone away for EMIs. On top of it, I was in my std 12 and my sis was doing her 10th. I just cant imagine now, how much stress dad and mum must have undergone during those days. On top of it, our grandma stayed with us too. I am not picturing her as a burden, but then she always demanded more from mum and dad – not understanding the situation. Mom would at the most pack us a lunch of white rice and plain dal with some pickle. Dad couldn’t even be approached for anything. One of the home loans got delayed and that caused so much stress to him. He had to find his way to somehow get groceries for the house to run. On top of all this, grandma would ask for fresh vegetables and fruits every day. She thought, she had to eat healthy to stay fit – at the age of 68. Nothing wrong, except that we couldn’t see our dad and mum suffer because of it. Mum would prepare veggie only for grandma every day, with whatever dad could buy. I must say that those were the two most difficult years of our lives.

Just like sprinkling chili powder on a fresh wound, my aunt would come visit us every week bringing lots of fruits, chocolates and sweets only for grandma. That’s the secret pact they both had worked out. She would most of the times, sneak in into grandma’s room and push the plastic bags of eatables that she would bring. She would also scold amma for not taking good care of grandma (that is, in her view). Every such incident left us children with such a bitter taste that, we stopped caring for anybody except our parents. How could my grandma do this to her own son and DIL? It all seemed so cheap to us, but we wouldn’t speak up – dad/mum wouldn’t let us. Every evening, grandma would make herself comfortable on the stairs to the terrace and eat her quota of fruits – either the ones sneaked in by aunt or the ones she would demand from dad. If we pass by accidentally, she would offer us a customary piece. How would we bring ourselves to accept it? We would politely deny. She would happily eat the fruit all by herself, throwing away the seeds on to the ground.

In about a year she left us, there was a plant in the exact location where she happened to throw the seeds every evening. It was growing very slowly and seemed like a lemon plant. Dad tried to pluck it off many a times but amma would object to cut off a growing plant. Years passed by. The plant soon grew out to be a tree. It would remain silent throughout the year, not bearing anything. This year, on the contrary we could see some flowers coming out from the tree. We eagerly kept an eye on the tree for the past three months. Flowers turned into little fruits and the fruits started growing. We still assumed them to be lemons until recently, when we spotted large sweetlimes hanging in bunches from almost every branch of the tree. The fruit is as big as a coconut and tastes so good. We realized that it was the seed from that forbidden sweetlime that grandma would eat every evening, which has come up as a huge tree bearing super sweet sweetlimes. Today as I think, I am feeling that a very small good deed even though unintentional from a person who is bad at heart can have such a huge impact.

Here is the picture of the first ripe sweet lime from the tree –



32 thoughts on “The Forbidden Sweetlime!

  1. Hey Gb, such a heartfelt post. I share the same feelings! I have always felt that mil those days were always biased towards their daughters and it was as if a written rule in their books to hate their dil. Thankfully things have changed for good in our generation. But as they say a good deed always pays off even if done unintentionally! I hope the sweetness of the fruit erases all bitter memories..Enjoy 🙂

    • Thanks so much Sia 🙂

      You are so right! MILs those days only favoured the daughters. My grandma was worse, she wouldnt support dad and almost hated us, for strange reasons.

      I really hope so, Sia 🙂 Thanks!

  2. hmmm.. nvr had the privilege of meeting my dad’s mom.. so we lived all by ourselves.. but with MIL around, may be Bunty too will come up with something like this when she grows up and understands wat her parents are going through. :).. wat her grandma is doing..

  3. Such a heartfelt post, GB. Could feel your pain and bitterness about the past events.
    It was a sad situation in those days when it was customary for a MIL to hate her DIL, no matter the siuation and no matter how good she is!
    Nature found a way to ensure that you get to eat the same fruits that you were forbidden all those years ago. How miraculous is that?!

    • Thanks TNGD 🙂 The pain is deep and I dont think I would ever forget those rough times ever in my life. But it definitely made me work harder and thats what has given me this place in my life.

      Thankfully, things are not the same with DILs and MILs these days (atleast 60%) and I feel blessed to be in this generation 🙂

      I believe in Nature as the highest power and its really great it could gives us the same fruit, in much better form 🙂

  4. I guess it is like ghar ghar ki kahani , dont know why MIL always hate their DIL , even though they know that they are making life harder for their own son .. I ma not saying all do it .. but i will say mostly ..

    My grandma was the same , my mom is still having a hard time , when she has to stay in india, but we were lucky I was pampered by my Grand-ma.. although things went wrong after my grand-dad passed away .. which was a shock to me as how can people change.. she is my Step grand ma, but it was she who brought me up, I used to be so close to her, my mum was very young when i was born , but I dont know what has happened after my grand pa passed away, she has changed and Now we have not spoken for more than a decade ..

    • Rightly said Bikram.. its ghar ghar ki kahani 🙂

      You were definitely lucky to get pampered by your grandma.. and of which you had some good memories. I feel sorry you both havent spoken to each other in a decade.. hopefully things would change soon and you would talk to her, afterall you were so close to her.

  5. Luckily, my grandma was very nice… I have very fond memories of her… the last being from my wedding.. could never meet her after that… she died a few years later. I wish she would have seen Cheebu.. Sigh!
    As Sia says… I hope the sweetness of the fruit erases all bitter memories 🙂

    • I would say you were very lucky LS 🙂 Glad you had such nice memories of her. I am sure she is blessing you all from somewhere, though she couldnt see Cheebu. 🙂

      My grandma was also very proud of us and all that.. she was a villian to my mom and to us.. only if it dealt with food. Apart from that, she always praised us and felt proud of us infront of others. She had witnessed many of my life turning events, except for me joining work. She always dreamed I would get a silk saree after joining in a BIG company. I wish she could see it.

  6. Tight hugs GB…I could feel the tinge of pain and hurt you experienced as a child reflecting in this post.
    I guess we all who have grown up with grandparents/ in joint families have seen something similar in our growing up years.

    • Hugs right back to you ME 🙂 and Welcome back!!! 🙂 🙂

      The pain and hurt is still there, I am sure I would never forget it.
      But life just moves on and as in my case, nature showed things can be changed over a period of time, for which I am feeling happy 🙂

  7. Hugs GB!!

    Forget the bitterness while relishing on the sweet limes. What has happened cannot be changed, your grandma did something which proved to be useful after so many years. Eventually everything falls into their correct place 🙂

  8. Oh I had a similar story when I grew up, not on the financial aspect but the grandpa was always troubling mom and dad. And we have a similar lemon tree(not planted by anyone, not sure how it came) inf front of home 🙂

    • Ahh, I am sure you would have been able to relate to this post then 🙂 The financial crunch was there for good two years and thats when our grandma troubled my parents.

      Same pinch same pinch on the lime 😀

  9. Hugs GB a very emotional n touching post!!I lost my granny 2 years back whom I hv grown up with in the same home for 10 years.. all the memories of her came gushing in when I read this..Mom says I hv picked up many of her qualities.. just recently I had put a tune to a song and dad says that granny used to sing that song… May be I digress here but she comes in my dreams a lot ..

    • Thanks Deepsi 🙂 I know how it feels to miss one of the fondest grandparents. But its still good we can carry some good and not so good memories abt the people with whom we shared our lives.

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