I saw her in the park every day, a lady in her mid 60’s everyone called her “Aaji”. A crisp cotton saree, hair neatly tied and a book in her hand. An English magazine like Women’s Era or Femina or a heavy duty novel like Ayn Rand.
She buried her head in the book and the mystique world, oblivious of her surroundings. She smiled at all but hardly spoke a word. I was in awe of her.
After 3 months, I met her daughter who told me that her mother couldn’t read English. I was in a state of shock. She always wanted to study but circumstances were not in her favor. She keeps buying books and gazing at the pictures fondly, taking in the smell hoping someday she can devour them all.
I had a plan. My tiny tot, the feisty 5 year old who was looking for a student with whom she could play teacher teacher. I approached Aaji and requested her if she could be the student, just to keep the child happy. Aaji smiled, a smile which conveyed a 1000 words.
Aaji means grandmother in Marathi