How I Taught My Grandmother To Read And Other Stories PDF

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How I Taught My Grandmother To Read And Other Stories

When I was a girl of about twelve, I lived with my grandparents in a village in northern Karnataka. In those days the transport system was not very good so we used to get the morning paper only in the afternoon.

The weekly magazine used to come one day late. We all used to eagerly wait for the bus, which brought newspapers, weekly magazines and mail.

At that time Triveni was a very popular writer in Kannada language.

She was a wonderful writer. His style was easy to read and very effective. His stories usually dealt with complex psychological problems in the lives of common people and were always very interesting.

Unfortunately for Kannada literature, he died at a very young age. Even today, forty years later, people continue to appreciate his novels.

One of his novels, titled Kashi Yatra, was at that time being published as a serial in the Kannada weekly Karamveera. This is the story of an old lady and her strong desire to go to Kashi or Varanasi.

Most Hindus believe that visiting Kashi and worshiping Lord Vishweshwar is the ultimate virtue.

This old woman also believed in this and her struggle to go there was described in that novel. The story also had a young orphan girl who falls in love but does not have the money to marry.

In the end, the old lady donates all her savings without going to Kashi. She says, ‘The happiness of this orphan girl is more important than worshiping Lord Vishweshwar in Kashi.’

My grandmother, Krishtakka, never went to school so she could not read. Every Wednesday the magazine came and I used to read him the sequel of this story.

During that time she used to forget all her work and used to listen with complete concentration. Later, she could memorize the entire text.

Even my grandmother never went to Kashi and she attached herself to the hero of the novel.

So more than anyone else she was most interested in knowing what would happen next in the story and she insisted that I read the serial to her.

After hearing what happened next on the Kashi Yatra, she used to go with her friends to the temple courtyard, where we children used to gather to play hide and seek.

She will discuss the latest episode with her friends. At that time I never understood why there was so much debate on the story.

Once I went with him to a wedding in a neighboring village. In those days marriage was a big event.

We children enjoyed a lot. We continued to eat and play, relishing the freedom as all the elders were busy. I went for a few days but eventually stayed there for a week.

When I came back to my village, I saw my grandmother crying. I was surprised, because I had never seen her cry even in the most difficult of circumstances. What happened? I was worried.

‘Aw, is everything all right? Are you alright?’

I used to call her Avva, which means mother in the Kannada language spoken in northern Karnataka. He nodded but did not answer.

I didn’t understand and I forgot about it. After having dinner, we were sleeping on the open terrace of the house. It was a summer night and the full moon was there.

Avva came and sat next to me. His loving hands touched my forehead. I realized that she wanted to speak. I asked him, ‘What’s the matter?’

‘I lost my mother when I was a little girl. There was no one to look after and guide me.

My father was a busy man and got married for the second time. In those days people never considered education necessary for girls, so I never went to school. I got married at a very young age and also had children.

I got very busy. Later I had grandchildren and it was always a great pleasure to cook and feed you all. Sometimes I regret not being able to go to school, so I make sure that my children and grandchildren study well…’

I couldn’t understand why my sixty-two-year-old grandmother was telling me, twelve years old, the story of her life in the middle of the night.

But I knew that I love her very much and there must be a reason why she is talking to me. I looked at her face. She was sad and her eyes were full of tears.

She was a good looking woman who was usually always smiling. Even today I cannot forget the worried expression on his face. I bent forward and held his hand.

Abwa, don’t cry. What is the matter? Can I help you in any way?” ‘Yes, I need your help. You know when you were out Karmaveera came as usual.

AuthorSudha Murty
Language English
No. of Pages70
PDF Size0.5 MB

How I Taught My Grandmother To Read PDF Free Download

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