The Great Granny Diaries

Read these soulful interviews with great-grandmothers from across India | Pratibha Jain presents this engaging series about love, nurturing and culinary bonding across generations | First published in Harmony – Celebrate Age Magazine.

Great Granny

Practical and diligent, and having a deep understanding of life, is how her grandchildren describe her. She is able to see life from their perspective which makes them reach out to her. Gauri Karmakar (75), a Bangladeshi great-granny residing in […]

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Anandkawar-Chowdhari

Peaceful co-existence is the essence of life, says this Rajasthani great-granny from Chennai. Baiji is a darling, her granddaughter says. She is an absolute darling, her grand-daughter-in-law says. She has taken care of me during my sickness even more than […]

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Serene Courage ~ Maharshtrian Great Granny Sushila Kulkarni

Serene Courage is how I remember this great granny from Nashik. At 85, her skin is as radiant as that of a young girl. Her serene gaze misses nothing and her warm demeanour draws people to her instantly. It is […]

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Intreview - Serene Grandmother from Bangalore

Serenity is her middle name. Her simple, affectionate smile envelops strangers and friends alike. Mrs. Henrietta Colaco, aka Hetty, an 87-year-old Christian great-grandmother now residing in Bangalore, is mother of four, grandmother of six, and great-granny of five. We met […]

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Samayika Sutra - Finding Inner Balance & Peace [Translation by Pratibha Jain]

To remain equally cheerful in the peak of health and comfort as well as in times of old age and sickness is surely a sign of equanimity within. ‘Sweet smiling’ is the phrase that comes to one’s mind as soon […]

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Bhagwathi Nagpal01

At the tender age of eight, she decided to become a vegetarian for life. Serene-faced and compassionate, she is now a mother of 5, grandmother of 12, and great-grandmother of 10, and enjoys interacting across generations. Bhagwanthiji Nagpal (79), a […]

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Meera Savoor

A Hindustani vocalist who starts training at a young age carries her riyaaz with her for life. “One was struck by the pristine purity of the swaras and the phenomenal range of her clear ringing voice with which she traversed […]

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Hasumati Shah - Great Granny Interview

Every incident down memory lane with this great-grandma was about co-existence and togetherness. At 88, more than anything else, she misses the sisters-in-law (jethani) with whom she lived after her marriage. She does not think that in adjusting with each […]

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Saradha Rajamani - Grandmother from Salem

  The two topics that received her undivided attention and enthusiasm were grandchildren and traditional recipes. Mrs. Saradha Rajamani, a 75-year-old Tamilian lady from Salem is a mother of 3, grandmother of 4, and great-grandmother of 2. By her own […]

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Deachi Appachi Grandmother from Coorg

  Cleanliness and beauty are visible in every corner of Mrs. Deachi Appaji’s house, situated amidst the lush greenery of Kodugu district in Coorg. At 86, she is a mother of 3, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 4. She […]

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Anjamma Granny Interview

  Meeting great-grandmother Smt. Anjamma(73) along with her son Sri Chinni Venkata Subbarao (57) was like seeing two kinds of devotion – his devotion as a son and hers as a devotee for her Lord. In an unhurried manner, he […]

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Doraimmal Grandmother speaks

A grandmother of six and great-grandmother of seven, Mrs. Doraiammal Neelakantan is much loved by friends and family for her warmth and hospitality. As Mrs Chithra Viswanathan, who gave us her introduction, astutely remarked, “Discipline with affection is her success […]

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Jaikuwar Bai Lodha - Great Granny from Ahmednagar

Two days with an 89-year old great grandmother without hearing a word of complaint about aches or pains, or any sound of disapproval about the activities of youngsters, truly piqued my curiosity. Smt Jaikuwar Bai, wife of late Shri Motilalji […]

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Vedula Satyavati, a Great Granny from Hyderabad of sharp memory and unconditional warmth

  At 93, with her razor sharp mind , there is not much that misses her eye, and her words flow effortlessly and eloquently. She enjoys a good conversation and passionately talks about traditional recipes. She can even instruct her […]

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Shanta Kumari - Telugu Grandmother

  As the strains of the Carnatic song “Vara veena mridu paani” played on the keys of the grand piano filled the air, I stood mesmerized looking at this beautiful and radiant great-grandmother whose fingers glided over the keys. Her […]

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Radha Rani Mehra Grandmother

I am happy enough to learn recipes that are three decades old, but never ever imagined that one day I would actually see a pickle that was prepared more than three decades ago. I checked more than a dozen times […]

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Pushpa Deshmukh - Maharashtrian Great Granny

What makes Smt Pushpa Deshmukh, 75, remarkable is a clear awareness of her own potential and the courage to speak about life honestly. Without resorting to emotional excess or self-pity, she speaks in her Maharashtrian-Hindi dialect about the things that […]

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Geeta Hamlai Gujarati Great Granny

During my recent trip to Raichur, my host Smt. Mankanwar Mootha was excited when she saw my feature in the last issue of Harmony. “I just know the perfect protagonist for your next write-up,” she declared and continued, “Geeta bhabi […]

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Subbulakshmi - Tamilian Grandmother Interview

There are many first moments we witness in the lives of those around us – first birthday, first job, first meeting, and now, ever since I have been writing this column about great grannies, I am seeing the excitement about […]

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Nila Devi Shah - Social work in Pipliya

There are some who are ruled by circumstances and there are others who rule circumstances. Nila Devi Shah clearly belongs to the second group. She may not have liked that tiny village of Pipliya in Pali District where she had […]

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