Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘grandma’s perfect gift’ and other poems

By: Vanaja Malathy

  1. grandma’s perfect gift

my adorable granddaughter turned eight
i rummaged all the toy shops
to explore…
to find something hilarious,
and desperately looked for a perfect toy
on her birthday

a smart watch, magnetic fidget pen,
3D Printing Pen, Instant print camera
mico personal AI robot, a play kit
flying dragon, walkie-talkie
4-person dome tent, barbie with animal friend
lED Gloves, light-up gloves
storypod tap-to-play audio
tech toys a window to the future

gift wraps rolled in countless
designs of flowers, birds in bright hues
cartoon figures, and sceneries
posed a test to my sharp acumen
myriad options… hard to choose
tempting toys in a changing world
posing a challenge, left me in stress
will she like my choice?! i sat in exhaustion

a sudden recall of my own grandma
arrive from her humble hometown
with hand-painted vintage tin trunk
fastened with a shiny brass lock
the key tied to her sari end
to unravel the secret store within
an excavation of an old coffee can
(that once contained a full pound of coffee)

the can held a few multi-shaped shells
hand stringed bead chains
rags from printed fabric, black thread for wigs
needles colored threads fancy buttons
and satin ribbons for my art and craft
a few woolen toys, rag dolls…
traditional hand-crafted toys
stood stoic to new age toys

grandma’s gifts sans glitz and glamor
valued high for the thought behind
the thought that was pure and golden
the love that had melted into them
granma seemed a queen of all riches
fully mesmerized was i
to hold the bounty to my bosom
my grandma’s warm hug gift-wrapped them all

i marvel at the confidence with which
she presented her choice!
the credence she gave me
and my love for her
perhaps such a firm conviction from my side
would win the heart of my little girl today!
for memories, not things are best gifts
a grandma can pass on.


  1. Who Cares…?!

journeyed through eagerly
waiting to see my seven year old grand kid
so creative, so full of smartness and talents
i shall teach her to stitch to sew to make handicrafts
i shall teach her to dance, to sing
my pride bragged
she will grow a sensible child
under my parenting
all the thrill of the world
filled my heart

lo! the time to plunge into my tasks arrived
the little one exhibited her talents: drawing sketching sewing
gluing shaping her soft toys
painting with ease and comfort
singing clippity clop tunes
moving her hands and legs
in rhythm to her croons
every little moment of hers
she coloured with zest
what will I teach her? wondered i

i cleverly surveyed her little room
a bright idea
clutter everywhere, bits of cloth paper paint glue threads shells coins beads…
Oh God, she must be taught orderliness
my authoritative voice rang
we shall stack all these into shelves neatly
that makes the place tidy and clean
hoped the years of my teaching abilities would work

who cares, granny? giggled away my dimpled beauty.
if all my things are out from their shelves? i love them all and i want to be looking into them…
all day long
it’s so boring to have a tidy room. who cares granny?
came her sharp and confident reply.

it put me off
awkward feelings screwed my spirits.
yet it was also a moment for me to doubt my preconceived ideas
in an attempt to clean and tidy our rooms
we hide all our good memories tightly snug in our
iron partitioned shelves
never have time, mind and mood to bring them out to
recall the pleasantness they once brought into our lives
they rust there for years
while we hunt for new ones
my little girl taught me the value of
little things in life that are gathered as keepsakes
she showed me the newer ways
of understanding

who cares, if my hair turns gray
if my wrinkles show up
my eyesight dims
and my limbs grow rickety
so long as I am able to bring
the nostalgia back in my life
unlearn old ways…
and find new hope to live joyfully.


A PhD, an educator from India, settled in the US. A smooth drift from academic writing to personal writing was possible because Vanaja Malathy’s emotions rolled into the print of the following journals she is ever grateful of:

The Nightingale Poetry Journal, The New-England Monthly Poetry Digest, The Poet’s Showcase,, The New International Poetry Digest, Academy of Heart and Mind,  The South India Times, Sunday Features, (26th Feb 2023), and The Literary Yard.

 Her Interview in the latest edition of Author Talks is published in The Literary Yard at


  1. Goes back in time to remember my grand mother. Waiting to see if charm works for today’s gen kids . Loved these poems

  2. Your poems touched the core of my being. What a beautiful message to the gramdma and it comes from the inner wisdom of a child. Trying to remember Wordsworth “In trailing clouds of glory do we come from God” or something to that effect, into this world and lose the innocence that was once so inherent. Hats off to your poems of wisdom and innocence.

  3. Beautiful poems. One can walk down memory lane while reading the poems. I sure did.
    The warm bond between a grand parent and a grandchild is a gift.

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