It would be pointless trying to articulate just how much she means to me and perhaps inappropriate to display such depths of affection on such public a forum.. but it goes without saying that she's my number one.
I've never been one to give my affections on the assumed intrinsic worth of concepts such as 'family' or ancestry. So my relationship with my grandmother is based on far more than her place in my genealogy. I admire her more than anyone; for her boundless wisdom, spirit and goodness.
She was born in the frozen depths of Yakutsk, Siberia during some of Stalin's worst purges . Her father was exiled to a Gulag when she was four because his own father, Gasan Bek Adigezalov was a famous anti-revolutionary who had led a bloody uprising against Bolshevik forces when they tried to seize control of Ganja in Azerbaijan in 1918.
My grandmother's childhood and the story of her growing up is an extraordinary one, reading somewhat like a Tolstoyen page turner.
She has always been fiercely intellectual and had a distinguished career as a leading Soviet chemist in the field of quantum mechanics. She was also beautiful and played the lead in a 50s film called 'V Etom Yujnom Gorode'(The Southern City), directed by her cousin Eldar Kuliyev. Below are photos from her wedding day, which was the first society wedding to be broadcast on the television. I love how chic and elegant she looks, with her hair in a Bardotesque beehive (I know, Bridget came later) and an embroidered white dress, with a full skirt cut just above the knee and emphasising her teeny waist (all very Alaia).
But I'm straying off the point. I'm blessed to have her and don't know where I'd have been without all the wisdom she's given me over the years. She's amazing. Not your typical 'bake you a pie/ knit you a jumper' variety of nan. She's taught me more than she'll ever know and still keeps me in check when I need it! Love you Granma. Happy Birthday!