Working on this photograph gave me an oppurtunity to reflect on the remarkably full life that my grandmother has lead.
She married my grandfather aged 18 and was a mother before she turned 21. She suffered the heartbreak of watching a daughter die, but has seen the birth and marriage of her grand-daughter.
She has lived through seeing her uncles put in jail fighting for India’s independence, a World War, the Independence of India, an Emergency, the slow death of those grand dreams of a socialist paradise and the emergence of a new “liberal” India.
Coming from a generation where most women never left thier homes, she would travel the length and breadth of India, found a school, run a charity that educated the children of a 100 poverty-stricken families and still run a household that had 7 families and over 20 children under 1 roof.
She would conduct the marriages of nearly half the children who grew up under her care, and remain the person everyone turned to when it came to the marriage of those children’s own sons and daughters.
She suffered a massive heart attack that left her bed-ridden for months, but has through sheer determination, beat the predictions of every single doctor who has treated her.
Through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, she remains the anchor-stone for my extended family.
I salute her and can only say one thing in summary – They broke the mold when my grandmother was born.