I know very little about my great grandmom, here is a little story I know about her life. I don't know why I am writing this, I felt like writing about her. Analysing the story that I do know about my great grandmom, I realised that there isn't much difference between us. Except of course that she was born almost a century before me. It is funny how each generation is perceived by the preceding generation to be more rebellious, adventurous and daring in comparison to them. Also the metaphors used to reprimand the kids also change and greatly signify the biases and mindset of the current generation. But the procedure of reprimanding doesn’t change. Each family, each community has it’s own very unique way of reprimanding and scolding its children.
My great grand mother (maternal grandma’s mom) was born in 1902. Actually her mother is the real hero. She got tutors for my great grandmother to teach her to read and write. It was her wish that her daughter should know at least to sign her name. My great grandmother studied till class 3 which was unacceptable in the society then. It was impossible to educate her more because it was time to get married. But her mother fought off relatives for quite some time. She was finally married at the age of 12years. My great great grandma had to face a lot of criticism from all relatives for having such an ‘old daughter’ at home.
My great grandmom insisted that, since she was ‘so highly educated’ she should marry a man who is also highly educated and should work in the city. She did not want to marry a purohit which is the profession of our caste. She was reprimanded for having become ‘like those city people’ and for getting so corrupted by her city bred neighbor friends. She was also scolded for wanting to wear her sari with a short pallu as was the fashion in the cities during those times. Aping anything the city folks did was totally unacceptable and amounted to having lost your brahmin ways. She had to face a lot of ridicule from the villagers and relatives because she, influenced by the city ways and educated till 3rd standard had become the black sheep of the community. They vowed that she would never get married as she had become so old and made an example of her to explain the ill effects of the city to others.
She ended up marrying a man who had studied till 11th class and was working in southern railways as a manager. She moved to city had 14kids, sent all girls and boys to school, read Indian express everyday, loved Indira Gandhi and finally died at the age of 96years.
She was the voice who told my mom to get a job. She campaigned for my mom to my grandparents to send her to another city for her job. She was also the voice that told my mom to reject proposals of men who did not want their wives to work.