Today is 29th August, birthday of my grandmother (Sunanda). Although we never called her by name, we remember that through her signatures, at the end of every letter she sent me…and I am fortunate to have plenty of them!
Although, she would be considered as a school dropout (by the conventional rules), her literary and maths acumen would stump us always! She was also diagnosed of hearing loss to the maximum, however I haven’t come across a person, who can scan the requirements of the visitor in the most appropriate manner and respond accordingly, without a single word spoken! I really pity those who cannot are tone deaf in their own world that they cannot hear what others are telling them!
The legacy of the odd sounding tables like: Pavki – पावकी, (Table of 1/4ths), Nimki – निमकी (1/2s), Paunki – पाउणकी(3/4ths), Savvaki – सव्वाकी (1 and 1/4ths), Didki- दिडकी (1 and 1/2s) or Adichki – अडीचकी (2 and 1/2s) were by-heart, which helped in a complex calculation with utmost ease. I remember the amount of time I required to calculate the price of Dudhi (bottlegourd), at Rs. 14/KG which used to weigh 1750 gms. Aaji would just say, 14 ones are 14 and 3/4th of 14 is 10 and half, so it is 24 and half (१४ एके १४ आणि १४ पावणे साडे दहा, म्हणजे झाले साडे चोवीस)!
All the vegetable sellers used to sit down at our courtyard and calculate their profit and loss with the help of Aaji. She used to ask each one for the cost price of the item, and the quantity. Later, she would ask her how much is already sold out, and give her the verdict about the profit she has earned/yet to earn!! They used to be open to her, since never ever Aaji asked them to give the vegetables at the cost price!!
An avid reader, she would be constantly reading! From newspapers to books, periodicals and the magazine!! Her main objective was to create a repository of stories for her grandchildren, who would pester her EVERYDAY for a new story, and she never disappointed! She also had a nice collection of rhymes and poems from her school books. The typical melody of the poem was clear from her singing, and so was her memory!
I am uploading one such poem, which she is singing at her age of 70+. Recording is done late at night (around 12:30 am) and we can feel her tired voice, however the passion is not less by 1/2 percent! Remembering you on your birthday!!