simple living comes much easier than a grander life. its a quiet little world, in which you are comfortable,without missing something, have all needs without wants, fulfilled life without having to crave for something. priorities are made and met within a stipulated time, and you feel sure of yourself and not insecure.
i was born in a tiny town down south, in India. An age when babies were born in the house, delivered by family mid-wives, in my maternal grandmother’s house. As my father worked and lived in a state other than that, i had the chance of visiting our family house,once or twice every year. I waited for my school to get over, and close for summer, and I promptly went off to my maternal ancestral home.
My grandmother was mother to 6 boys and 2 girls. and a grandmother to 28, grandchildren. 50 great grandchildren, i haven’t counted her great great grands. JAANI as she was called, her full name was Janaki. Married at the age of 12, to my grandfather, who worked for The Indian Railways, she lived in the house he grew up in, until her death 88 years later.
She educated and got all her generations, after married and educated, well settled they all are, living all over the world today. A lady, who seldom left her house, except for her own family’s marriage, or her yearly, pilgrimage to their family deity, at the Tirumala hills. Hardly educated, she deftly handled cash, and family assets, and lived through her 100 years of life, without a penny in loan, in life and after. Impartial as a mother, her ability to maintain her stature as a mother-in-law who gained the respect of all her daughter-in-laws, and sons-in-laws was amazing. She kept a distance, at the same time demanding family unity, at all times.
Women all over who have greed for Sarees, and accessories, this grand lady, lived through life in just 3 nine yards sarees, she had in rotation, and only replaced, when it tore. she washed her clothes, till the end of her life, and had no personal possessions, giving away, all the family assets to her children, during her lifetime, and not leaving them to fight with each later, after her lifetime. She bathed in firewood ash, and used neem twigs for cleaning her teeth.
Many would find it difficult to believe, she had never stepped into any hospital during her entire lifetime, Except for her cataract operation. Eating simple home cooked meal, she has never during her lifetime, eaten anything, other than, food, cooked at home, Be it sweets, snacks, or medicines. A born vegetarian, lived life on essentials alone.
It would come as a surprise, to many that she had never used a refrigerator or a television, until her end. No electric mixers or grinders, in her house either. They used hand stone grinders, for wet and dry, flour or doughs. Today, as i work through, environmental sustainability, and Eco-living, I understand how precious her life was, She had lived just that life. She never had gas stove, either. Her cooking was done on natural, open stove, and cow dung dry cakes were used along with firewood, for cooking and water heating. She had cows, in the house, and milk, curd, butter and ghee came from that.
Only well water was used for washing,cooking, bathing, and cleaning. She disallowed any external water supply from outside. She never had used even a footwear or spectacles.
This is a small tribute to a grand old lady, born in 1906 and died in 2006, lived a grand 100 years, with no disease or complications, no electrical or electronic gadgets, thought me a great deal about SIMPLE LIVING GREAT THINKING. My mother’s mother, from whom I learnt, the art of being firm and not strict with my child, whose values were more important than any assets, never took anything from anyone, including all her children and extended family, after her husband’s death in 1973, she lived on his pension from The railways, for the next 35 years or so. Her palms never once opened to receive anything from anyone. She only gave and never took anything at all, her entire life.
LOVE YOU PATTI–( as we fondly refer in our language)