माझी वसुधा चिवटे ब्लॉगवाल्या आजीबाई चिं
कोल्हापूर आकाशवाणी केंद्र येथे तारिख १० नोव्हेंबर २०१८ ला
मुलाखत झाली.मी ती मुलाखत माझ्या
वसुधालय ब्लॉग मध्ये लिंक टेप ठेवली.
त्याला प्रतिक्रिया आली आहे. ती प्रतिक्रिया
आकाश देशपांडे Ph.D.अमेरिका यांनी दिली आहे त्यांनी
मराठी टेप चं इंग्रजी भाषांतर केले आहे.
मान्य केली आहे आणि त्याचा वसुधालय ब्लॉग करीत आहे
तो ब्लॉग आपण सर्वांनी वाचन करावे आपण सर्वांना टेप च
इंग्रजी भाषांतर आवडेल.
आकाश देशपांडे Ph. D. आपणास शुभेच्छा! व अभिनंदन!
छान इंग्रजी भाषांतर केले साठी धन्यवाद!
ब्लॉग वाल्या आजीबाई.
Blogging Grandma – Vasudha Chivate Interview on Akashwani
Link to radio interview: https://vasudhalaya.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/आकाशवाणी-कोल्हापूर-येथे/
Transcript in English translation
Announcer 1: Let’s listen to the program Sun-Shadows.
Song: Sometimes we caught sunlight, sometimes fulfilling starlight; in all seasons we preserved the spring in our hearts.
Announcer 2: Dear elders (great listeners), salutations. A mindful, dedicated welcome to the Sun-Shadows program. To meet us in today’s program, we have a grandmother. Her name is Vasudha Chivate. And an important fact about her is that she is famous as the Blogging Grandma. Even at her age she learnt new technologies and started writing a blog. Her blogs on various topics are liked by netizens. Readers from all age groups read her blogs and like them as well. And learning new technologies, writing blogs is something that Chivate-grandma enjoys well. We will know from her firsthand how her Sun-Shadows journey took place. She has been interviewed by Sujata Kahalekar. Let’s listen.
SK: Dear elders, salutations. Today we have with us grand-lady Vasudha Chivate. Everyone recognizes her as the Blogging Grandma. To tell about her, I felt there is no objection to saying that she is a youthful grandmother. She is worldly (self-aware, particular) about her appearance and presentation. She likes wearing beautiful sarees (“Irkal”?) and pairing them with matching blouses. I admire her very much and hence we are going to chat with her and learn from her how her Sun-Shadows journey took place. Grandma, welcome to the studio. Salutations.
SK: Where did your childhood and education take place?
VC: Our childhood mostly took place in Hyderabad. All of us used to live together, uncle, aunt, mother, father, also our grandmother was there at that time. There I studied up to 7th grade. Then we came to Aurangabad. There I studied beyond 7th grade. Then I passed 10th grade in Mumbai. I became SSC (Secondary School Certificate) in those days.
SK: I see.
VC: I passed SSC and then I got married (chuckles). After marriage I got engrossed in life at in-laws. My mother-in-law used to make beautiful ornaments from halwa (a sweet). I learnt from her how to make halwa ornaments. I learnt how to make halwa, and as she cooked, I learnt how to cook by helping her superficially. I was not an expert cook. I learnt from her.
SK: Please tell me, you said you used to live in Hyderabad. And your education took place at different places. What did your father do?
VC: My father was a farmer. We had farms.
SK: So how could you go to various places?
VC: My father was in Nagapur. Our farms were in the Aurangabad village of Nagapur where he farmed. But for education, all of us siblings, cousins went to Hyderabad. My elder brother became M.Sc. He stood first in Osmania University. For education we came to Hyderabad.
SK: How then Mumbai and Pune?
VC: My brother was in Mumbai for a job. Along with his job, all of us came to Mumbai. Until then my father’s farming was still going on. Because of that, father, mother used to visit here and there.
SK: Then how did you come to Kolhapur?
VC: First he (my husband) worked in Pune, at Bajaj. But he did not feel right at Bajaj. Then he was invited to join Shivaji University of Kolhapur at a good standard in the Accounts section. Then he started that job and we came here. We lived in Shahupuri 3rd Lane in a rented house – old house but very nice, Shahbadi stone floors, timbered house. We lived there for a few years. Then later we had our own flat and we are living in that flat now.
SK: So your husband was in Shivaji University.
VC: He was in Shivaji University in the Accounts section. He completed his M.Com. (Master of Commerce) and B.A. in Marathi. He had a tremendous liking for poetry. He had come to this Center to recite his poems, I remember, to this Kolhapur Center. Earlier he had recited his poems in the Sangli Center as well. His name is Shrikant Chivate – there should be no objection to mentioning his name now. You may have his recordings in this Center. I feel a lot about that.
SK: Did you come here with him?
VC: Yes, I came here with him. But I sat outside (the sound room), I couldn’t come in here. And then we visited Ganpati and went home.
SK: You mentioned you took a flat. In which area of Kolhapur do you live?
VC: Here I have a son Pranav Chivate, and Pushkar Chivate is in America with his wife Anu.
SK: So you have two sons?
VC: Yes, I have two sons. Yes, I have two sons.
SK: When did your husband pass away?
VC: He … in 2007.
SK: Your childhood and education took place in Hyderabad, Aurangabad. Then you came to Kolhapur. How was the environment in Kolhapur in those days?
VC: Kolhapur was a village then. When the two of us used to go out together, people used to bend and turn and look at us. “Two going together, two going together.” It was an old environment – it must be 1967. Seeing them, even we used to feel we are being looked at strangely. But we used to go together. And in our neighborhood there was an old family – we used to go to visit them, they used to visit us. In those days, I had great respect for (from?) those people. We had children later. Because of that family and respect I settled joyfully here. Later, after the children started going to school, I learnt to play the Sitar.
SK: What are you telling me!
VC: Yes, I learnt the Sitar. I played Sitar in Dev[inaudible] Club. I played Sitar in Belgaun. Many years passed doing these things.
SK: With whom did you learn Sitar?
VC: Kulkarni, Nandakumar Kulkarni. I learnt from him. He is very good. I came to know Lady Lele. She used to study Sitar. Once we knew each other, she took me to him for Sitar. Then through lessons I learnt a lot.
SK: What level of education did you attain?
VC: I passed SSC.
SK: Did you feel like continuing further with your studies?
VC: Well, what happened was, I did not know English. Vocabulary, sentence structure. People used to say, there’s such a big University here, why don’t you study? But because of not knowing English I said I don’t want to get into that form. Instead I did house work and studied Sitar.
SK: You spent time studying Sitar. But how did you come to be known as the Blogging Grandma?
VC: [laughs] I was alone at home. He had passed away. My son thought how is she doing, what should be done. So, he gave me a computer. He brought it from America, that’s my son, Pushkar. He set me up with HotMail, created a password for me. He said, mom write here – he showed me the places where I should write. Then I started writing. First some words, then from some English books. Then he said, make a blog. I said how can I manage words in Marathi through English? Slowly I prepared words one by one and over time I could manage several words. By doing this now I have many blogs. Today before coming here also I created a blog. I have 450,000 views on my blog.
VC: Yes, so many views of my blog. So many people view my blogs – Australia, America, Mumbai – everywhere my blogs are read, all over the world.
SK: On what topics have you written your blogs?
VC: They are all in Marathi. Birthdays are there, recipes are there, Rangolis are there, pilgrim places are there. The pilgrim place of Gangapur, the pilgrim place of Jejuri, Kolhapur of course is there, many such pilgrim places, my photos at these pilgrim places. About Rangolis, a few days ago we had the Ganpati festival. I wanted to participate in the Rangoli competition but instead they invited me to create my Rangoli design. There’s a Radhe Mandal (circle, club), there I drew my Rangoli. As a grandmother, they gave me a shawl and a Sriphal, Naral (coconut). They honored and celebrated me so much, I am very happy. They had me give away the Paithani (sarees) as presents – they were their Paithanis but they had them given away as if from me.
VC: All these photos are in my blog. I feel so good even telling about all this that my heart fills up.
SK: Tell me, when people reach a certain age, it becomes difficult to handle new things, whether a computer or a mobile phone. Some people don’t dare to take these new things up. You even started writing blogs. How did all this happen?
VC: How did all this happen? I had enthusiasm. I made up my mind that every day I must complete one blog. Over time I started getting it, spelling in English to get Marathi words. One by one, the blogs came out. I am also on Facebook. Those people also call me grand-lady, grand-lady. They become so happy. They say, grand-lady, you do so much. They say, even we cannot prepare so many Marathi words.
SK: Indeed not. One cannot think of such things. Even I don’t yet use such things. You do it with so much enthusiasm, all feel proud of you and encourage you.
VC: And then what happened, after the blogs happened, Kishor Kulkarni did … Kishor Kulkarni is a newspaper publisher from Jalgaon … Kishor Kulkarni wrote an article on me. That Vasudha Chivate writes such and such blogs. At that time I must have been 74 years old. He wrote well and printed it in his newspaper. I have a copy of it. Then his phone calls, my phone calls started. Then I said to him, will you prepare a book on me? Then what he did … sorry, no, it’s difficult, photos don’t print well in a book. I said, however it appears, prepare a book. Then what he did, Kurumbhatti and Kishor and his editor, they wrote all the information and prepared a book on me. The Blogging Grandma book is ready today on me.
SK: Wow, very nice. You said one of your sons is in Kolhapur. What does he do?
VC: He works at a job in Computers.
SK: And the younger one is in America
VC: He is not younger. This one works in Computers in Kolhapur and that one works in Computers in America.
SK: For that reason, you must have travelled a lot.
VC: Yes, yes. I have travelled a lot. I even go to America by myself. What they do, they send me a ticket. From here … in Mumbai I have a brother, S. Y. Deshpande, he is a doctor, I stay at his place for a couple of days and then from there I go to America alone. We have to change the plane. There I sit comfortably for 2-3 hours. The people there inform when the plane is ready, and tell us to go there. They show me to my seat comfortably. And there that son comes to take me. That’s why everything is comfortable. I can travel all by myself all the way from Kolhapur to America. I take just a small luggage, don’t take too much. Some 5-6 things, some Indian money, some dollars in case I need something on the way. I won’t be able to tell you the numbers, but I keep some with me. I take that, my papers, my ticket, my passport, and go comfortably. I keep a pen in my purse – people don’t carry pens. There you have to fill out a form. On the form you have to put your name as on the passport, date, and all that I do myself. If someone asks to borrow my pen, I give it to them readily.
SK: That means you are well prepared.
VC: Yes. I have travelled so much and have never lost anything. Sometimes people lose their shoes, bags.
SK: Have you faced any inconveniences?
VC: Never have I had any difficulties. No one has snatched my things.
SK: Then have you finished seeing all of America?
VC: I saw a lot. Niagara waterfall. There’s a bridge – that also I saw – I think it’s called Golden bridge. I don’t remember the name exactly but I think it’s the Golden bridge.
SK: So you are satisfied.
VC: Fully fulfilled, much more than satisfied, fulfilled.
SK: What did you see in India?
VC: In India I saw Dilli, I saw Mumbai, I saw Hyderabad, I saw pilgrim places, Gangapur, Narsobawadi. I saw Pondicherry. The Ashram in Pondicherry is very nice. Salute. So, like this, a bit here, a bit there.
SK: What do you like to do now?
VC: Do you mean to cook?
SK: Both. What do you like to do, what are your likes and selections?
VC: Nothing special. Whenever anyone mentions anything, I can quickly make it. I can make Anarse. A few days back I made cucumbur Kharya, sweet. Put jaggery, wheat flour – liked them so much, but I can’t eat sweet. Only a bit of sugar. I keep making things. I have made Kurdaya and Papdya, Kharodya. Soak wheat and then make kharodya from that wheat. The hulls are used to make kharodya and the paste that remains is used to make kurdaya. I have all these old-style things to make. I also made a cake. Maida, rather wheat flour, milk, sugar, clarified butter. When I was at Pushkar’s I made spicy popcorn of Jwari (Sorghum). Liked them so much, that you can’t even ask. Jwari from Indian culture is available there. There I made it and our children eat it. Puran poli is always there, and I made it there. When you make puran poli you also make Shevaya Kheer, such is the rule. So, there I made shevaya kheer also. There we go to a temple, I gave shevaya kheer. I have seen Gondavale, Brahma Chaitanya Maharaj’s samadhi I have seen in 1966, and even now I go there.
SK: What is your age now?
VC: My age is 76 running.
SK: Then tell me, we should be so top-tip, wear nice matching clothes, how did you get interested in it?
VC: By luck, by fulfillment, I have everything, I use it.
SK: These things are worthy of learning from you. Everyone should learn from you how to be neat.
VC: We should be neat, we are living amongst four people. She is a grandma, she is in this colony, thus all people here know me. A few days back when I was drawing the Rangoli, schoolgirls were there. Even if they are on the back seats behind their mothers on the scooters, they wave to me. I have become well-known, they say Rangoli Grandma and wave like this. How can they speak with me when they are on the scooter, but even though they are behind their mothers, they wave to me. And I wave to them. So much people feel close to me.
SK: Here who are at home?
VC: Here it’s me and Pranav Chivate. He is not married, he is single.
SK: And the one in America?
VC: He is married. That daughter-in-law is a Ph.D. in Mathematics. She is from Dilli.
SK: How is your relationship with your daughter-in-law?
VC: Well, very nice. She calls me mom, mom, and takes me everywhere in America. In the mall, mom this is this way, mom this is this way. She speaks in Hindi with me (laughs), I can’t speak with her in English. Mom, what should we get, this vegetable or that vegetable? She asks me nicely. Mom, what to make today?
SK: So you consult each other.
VC: She taught me how to make pizza. Like this you have to make pizza. There they have machines, ovens, etc. She taught me to use the oven. Our mother should be well, she should be adept, that is her wish.
SK: You have a liking to learn new things.
VC: Yes, I have a liking, and she wants to teach me – that’s her nature. That’s why we got along well.
SK: When you married and came to the Chivate household, you must have had a mother-in-law.
VC: Yes, my mother-in-law was very good. She would tell me how to make Anarsa flour. From Kolhapur we used to go to Pune for Diwali. She would start making Anarsa flour. She would pound, then I would pound, then we would measure with a sieve and add jaggery to the rice flour. “Come dear Vasudha, put your hand to this” – like this she would talk with me.
SK: She also taught you a lot of things.
VC: Yes, she taught a lot.
SK: And you incorporated all of that. Do all these get used in your blogs?
VC: Yes, yes. I have blogs with her photos. And my aunt-in-law made nice ornaments from halwa, we used to call her Akka. Her name was [inaudible]. I made halwa, and she taught me how to make ornaments from it. I even have a photograph of me wearing the halwa ornaments, from 1967. I have put it in my blog. It’s a very beautiful photo. People feel fulfilled and surprised.
SK: What do you do to keep up your health.
VC: I manage my diet. I eat only twice, low sugar, no rice, just poli, milk and poli, vegetable and poli. I eat more leafy vegetables, spinach, methi (fenugruk), pokla in our Kolhapur. And in-between meals I don’t eat.
VC: I go for walks. To Maruti. There’s a Maruti near us. Every day I go to that Maruti and have darshan. If I cook anything, I take a bit along in a plastic bag and give it to Maruti as an offering.
SK: All told, how is your life, looking back what do you feel?
VC: Well. I am so fulfilled. All this to happen, it was not imaginable. But it happened so well. I am very happy, satisfied, fulfilled. Really, salute. It’s not easy to get such a life. I got it and I consider it my fortune.
SK: What I learnt was you happily enjoy together in all things, participate with enthusiasm, this is the secret to your happy life, is my feeling.
VC: Absolutely 100% correct, and I am really very happy, fulfilled.
SK: You came here today, we chatted freely, for that on behalf of Akashwani and all our listeners I thank you. Salutation.
VC: Salutation. Salutation to you. Salutation to Akashwani.
Sitar music plays.
Announcer 2: Friends, we can learn a lot, we can apply our time usefully. So far, our life went in a great hurry and confusion. But now, with new technologies, we can enjoy our time in relaxation.
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