My grandma was cared by her grandma. Wanting her grandaugher to learn English, she sent my grandma away to her son’s place where there was a convent school. She herself was Tamizh educated. That progressive was my great great grandma. I have seen a black & white photo of my great grandma (my grandma’s mom) wearing a dress, pearl jewelry (I think), complete with a handbag and a nice pair of shoes. A photo taken in the studio. No pottu, malliga poo whatsover. A very modern & confident lady, she looked like. My great grandmom could have easily been in her teens, the time of the photo taken around 1920s.
Coming back to my great great grandma. She was an influential lady, I was told. She had her own pannai (cattle farm), paddy fields, owned lands and even had her own business.
My grandma is 79 this year. She could speak fluent English and was a long serving government servant. My grandad is another progressive man . He ensured my grandma continued working even though they had to care for six children. My grandma had a maid-this in the late 50s.
Why did I say my grandad was progressive? That’s because he asked my mom to work in order to pass time and equip herself with knowledge. My mom was a very timid person and she has had never worked. Moreso, what came as a surprise was that my granddad suggested this after my mom had my sister. He told her not to worry about her two kids. As he had retired, he can care for his grand daughters. Isn’t he a great father in law? 😀
My grandma was very VERY modern. She too wore dresses and had custom made shoes. Till she had her first three boys, she had not worn pottu nor had she, sarees. She watches CNN, BBC and the likes. A very bold lady, she gives two hoots to certain perjudiced customs. She educated all of her children, boys and girls.
The thing about my grandma is, no man or woman can get away easily from her if they remotely say anyhing perjudiced against womenfolk.
I wrote this after IHM asked what was the state of women in your family say 70 years ago?
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