It was when I was four and staying at my maternal grandmother’s place for a few weeks. My grandmother was an active folk song singer in the local community, and she used to take part in the community’s senior folk song club. The group had a regular practice at a nearby meeting house, and one evening, my grandmother took me there with her.
I had no idea what this meeting was going to be like. But I always knew that wherever my grandmother would take me to was going to unfold a great adventure for me. So, after dinner, I eagerly accompanied her to the meeting house. It was already dark outside, and we walked through narrow passages that I had never known existed before. In my memory, we even walked through a bush behind somebody’s house. I thought we were being like cats.
The meeting house was clean and bright, and many kind faces welcomed us. They all seemed to be of a similar age as my grandmother, sitting in a circle with small tables in front of them to keep their song books.
We were the last members to arrive. My grandmother introduced me to everybody in the room.
“This is my granddaughter.”
She explained to them that I was staying with her for a few weeks away from my parents among a few other things. I was the only child in the room, and everybody was delighted to have me there.
As I sat next to my grandmother, she gave me a bag of candies. It was her favourite candy called “The Golden Candy”, and she used to carry them with her wherever she went. Since I was going to spend the next couple of hours on my own, my grandmother gave me the entire bag. Unlike my mother, she didn’t have a strict rule around my sugar consumption, and she also trusted me that I would only have the amount I needed.
When the song practice started, I carefully observed all the people in the room one by one, the way they sang and the way they chatted with each other. It was very interesting for me to see my grandmother interacting with her peers, too. She somehow looked different from when she was at home talking to her family members – looking fresh, lively, and somewhat free.
I also observed every detail of my grandmother’s Golden Candy. It had an amber colour and a shape of six-sided prism. The candy was transparent, so I even put it in front of my eyes to see if I could see something through it.
While I played with the candies, other club members started giving me their candies, too. Some of them also had the Golden Candy, but with a tea flavour. Its colour was red. So, I started to play with both of them, observing the difference and comparing their tastes.
The time passed very quickly. Soon, the song practice was over, and the members discussed the next meeting schedule and what songs to practice until next time. Once that was done, we all packed our belongings and left the meeting house.
As I followed my grandmother through the narrow passages and the bush behind somebody’s house heading home, I thought to myself what an amazing adventure it had been. In my hands were a few bags of the Golden Candy, a precious souvenir from the night’s adventure with my grandmother. That was the only time I participated in her folk song club practice. And yet, the scene remains in my heart so vividly like yesterday.