Since I know Rani, I see her in every woman; seriously, I told this in my engineering campus interview to Ms. Kasturi Banerji (HR manager, Thermax Ltd) and got selected in company. I see every woman in more respectful way after I know Rani. As I grown up, I got to know some fascinating facts of my grandma (In Marathi, we call her Aaji). Yes, she is truly mardaani for me. I don’t remember any specific incidence of her bravery but her life has been a courageous journey. For others, she is just another Indian woman, for me she is truly Mardaani.
My grandma, Padmavati Vasudev Joshi was born on 22nd May, 1934 in Malvan, a beautiful town in Kokan Maharashtra. She was lucky to have higher education at that time as she belongs to Brahmin family. In 1961, she completed her nursing course in Bombay Provincial Nursing Association, Mumbai (now renamed as Maharashtra Nursing Council) and got married to my grandpa who is doctor by profession, he joined Sangli Civil Hospital and so she shifted to Sangli thereon. Until now, everything was okay, but real struggle started after marriage. They were living in extended area of Sangli, Yashwantnagar where housing societies were newly formed. My grandpa is very strict in behavior. He needs everything at place and in time. She managed to not only serve them well but also educated her two daughters (out of them one is my mom). That time, my mom used to go to City High School which was far from home. A bus will arrive only twice in a day. If a return bus is missed, mom used to live at friends house in the Sangli. As far as I know my grandpa, it would have been very tough for aaji to manage those days to make 2 daughters ready for school as not many children were going to school.
Apart from all this, she helped grandpa to run clinic in the home. She was the first lady doctor in my town (Proud of her). Many women got facilitated by her presence in clinic.
In addition to this, she was elected as Grampanchayat sadasya that time. It was heroic for me to know that we have political leader in our family. She helped to start Masjid behind our colony, helped her friend Mrs. Kulkarni madam (who used to be headmistress of my school) to start a school in Yashwantnagar where I completed my secondary studies. This was all because she wanted to have an educational institute in the town. She knew the difficulties in sending children to city for education.
This is the story of my aaji. Though, it looks like ordinary journey, the circumstances under which she did all these things is not less than bravery. Thanks Mardaani for giving me chance to unveil my Aaji’s life with all. Just before writing this post, I called her for details and told her about this. She felt delighted.
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