Sudha Murty is one of my favorite authors. She writes fiction, non-fiction and children’s stories. Her books are almost of real life stories and is meant for all ages. Here, I would like to tell you about a heartwarming story which touched me a lot. The title of the story is ‘How I Taught My Grandmother to Read’. I read this story in her book titled Wise and Otherwise.
This incident happened when Mrs.Murty was a twelve year old girl. She used to stay in a village with her grandparents, in north Karnataka. In those days the transport system was bad and they got the daily morning newspaper only at noon. Triveni was a very popular writer in the Kannada language. One of her novels, Kashi Yatre came as a serial in the weekly Karmaveera then. Mrs. Murty’s grandmother, Krishtakka had not been to school, thus she could not read or write. Every Wednesday, when the magazine would arrive, Mrs. Murthy would read the next episode of the novel to her.
At that time she would forget all her chores and listen with all her concentration. Once Mrs. Murty went to the neighboring village for a wedding and stayed there for a week with her cousins. When she came back, she saw her grandmother crying. When Mrs. Murthy asked her if she is OK, her grandmother nodded, but didn’t say anything. That night they were sleeping on the terrace, looking at the stars and full moon. It was a warm night. Grandmother faced her and told her, she wanted to talk. She asked, ‘What is the matter Avva? Her grandmother talked about the death of her mother when she was a very young girl, about her father’s second marriage, her marriage at a very young age and having kids etc. At that time,Mrs.Murty, a twelve year girl couldn’t understand what her grandmother, who was in her sixties was telling her. ‘I need your help’, she added. She wanted Mrs.Murty to teach her to read. She told that she’ll keep Saraswati Puja day during Dasara as deadline to access.
For the next few months, Mrs.Murty realized that her grandmother was a wonderful student. As the deadline approached, she bought a copy of Kashi Yatre which had been published as a novel by then. Mrs. Murty’s grandmother called her to the puja room. She gave her a gift and then did something unusual! She bent down and touched her granddaughter Mrs. Murthy’s feet! Then she said, ‘Today, I am not touching the feet of my granddaughter, but the feet of a teacher, the one who taught me to read with so much affection. It is my duty to respect my teacher.’ Mrs. Murty gave her first student, the gift. Her grandmother opened the book and immediately read the title, author’s and publisher’s name! And then, Mrs. Murty realized the fact that her student had passed with flying colours.
Friends, the great lesson I learned from this story is that we must spend some time with our wonderful grandparents. Exchanging our thoughts and dreams with those simple souls can make the whole day wonderful and cheerful. It will make them very happy and also make us glad. Due to this pandemic since nine months I couldn’t see my grandparents. I am missing the precious time we spent together in the paddy fields, plantations, watering plants, cleaning the garden etc. I am trying to overcome that by talking over the phone and exchanging my love. You too enjoy those precious moments which will rejuvenate you for sure.