To my children, nobody will beat their grandparents, when it comes to who they will rather spend time with.
And the feeling is very much mutual.
My parents, who have five grandchildren, are nothing short of obsessed with their grandkids, and view them, as my dad so beautifully puts it: "Life's dessert."
There is something so unbelievably pure about the love between grandparents and their grandchildren. It is what family is all about, it is about time and tradition and generations and just puts it all in perspective, I think – how very, very important family is and how fleeting it all really is.
Growing up in Jaipur, India, Setia now travels the world capturing photos of grandparents with their grandbabies, and her reason is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
Flipping through her own family's photo albums, Setia realised there were pictures of her with nearly everyone in her family: her mom, dad, brother, even a stray cat her parents took in – but hardly any of her with her grandparents.
“I think my parents never took enough pictures of me and my grandparents because you always believe your parents are invincible until the day they leave you,” the now London-based newborn and family photographer, told HuffPost recently.
“When they’re gone, there’s a sense of loss over the lack of photos,” she said. “You realise memories alone tend to become a fuzzy version of reality with time.”
Now, as a mum herself, with a young daughter, Setia hates to think of the same thing happening to other families. With that in mind, she has spent the last year in her travels offering to take photos of grandparents with their grandkids as a gift to them. (And as a sweet tribute to her Nani, Nana, Dadi and Dada ― her four grandparents.)
And the photos, captured in Setia’s natural-light, painting-like style, are really breathtaking:
Sometimes when Setia requests a photo session, the grandparents and child haven’t met or spent much time together, which makes capturing the moment even more special.
“I recently photographed a great-grandma with a baby in Argentina and the little baby had not been around the grandma enough to feel comfortable with her,” Setia said. “But then the grandma started singing an old church song to the little girl, the smile I saw on that 6-month-old baby’s face was worth a million bucks.”
She added: “I don’t know how much of the song she understood, but she just hugged her great-grandma like they were one soul. It was magical … just magical.”