Sunday, May 28, 2006

At 106, she still cares about India

At 106, she still cares about India

April 05, 2006

Burdened with so many preconceived notions about the elderly, I didn't expect a 106-year old lady to walk briskly towards me, speak in a strong voice (that too in five languages), hear very clearly and remember things that happened a century ago. How wrong and foolish I felt after meeting Saraswathy Ramaswamy, freedom fighter and Gandhian.

As I waited for her in the lobby of Vishranthi, an old age home for women, she came rushing towards me with folded hands. Holding my hands close to her cheeks, she said in English, "Thank you for coming, Sir (she calls everyone Sir). I look forward to speaking with you."

Then, sitting in the front yard, under the shade of all kinds of trees, she began to rewind the clock.

January 1, 1900

A little girl was born to a young couple in Secunderabad. Distraught on seeing a female first born, the young man's sister ordered the baby to be thrown into the Hussain Sagar. She was promptly wrapped in a silk cloth and thrown into the water.

Fate had other plans for the baby though.

The midwife who delivered her happened to see the bundle floating in the river while she was washing clothes. Horrified, she took the baby back to the young mother, who was sobbing uncontrollably.

The child was named Saraswathy, and the astrologer who read her horoscope said she would live long and become famous!

"God didn't want me to die that easily," Saraswathy Amma laughed loudly. "Death came close several times, but I survived. A couple of years ago, a tree fell on my house and me. But here I am!"

Read more here

India Vision 2020

About India 2020

India 2020 is an non profit organization formed by citizens of India for the citizens of India.

"The greatest natural resource that any country can have is its children"- Danny Kaye

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“A developed India by 2020, or even earlier, is not a dream. It need not be a mere vision in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up - and succeed.“

- A P J Abdul Kalam.

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