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Amrita Patti (1923-1997) by Sujata Srinivasan Print E-mail
Sujata Srinivasan

Sujata Srinivasan is a Connecticut, U.S.-based journalist specialising in business and economic development, as well as community and general interest features. She and her husband Arun enjoy the theatre, travelling, and classical music, among many other things.

I loved to nestle against my Patti, which means grandmother in Tamil. She smelled of all my favourite smells – Mysore Sandal soap, shikakai, and soft, sun-dried Pochampalli saris. And when she smiled, which was often, I felt as though all was indeed well with the world. My world, at least.

Memories of My Dadi and Nani by Renu Khanna née Chatterji Print E-mail
Renu Khanna

Renuka (Chatterji) Khanna, born in 1927 in Lahore, studied psychology at London University. She supported and encouraged her husband, Krishen Khanna, in quitting his prestigious job at Grindlays Bank to become a full time painter. Thereupon, she became the school psychologist and taught English at Modern School, New Delhi until retirement. An avid reader, a dilettante painter of birds, and an inventive embroiderer, she has raised her three children to follow their own stars. The eldest, Rasika Mohan, is a classical Bharatnatyam dancer, Malati Shah is a painter, and the youngest, Karan Khanna, is a professional photographer. She is a most loved grandmother to five grandchildren, who know her favourite word to be “comfortable”, which is what she wants everyone to be.

Editor’s note: This story has two parts. Renu Khanna’s story is followed by her daughter Malati Shah’s memories of Mrs. Khanna’s nani.


Dadi - Kumodini Das (1858?-1949)

On Dadiji’s eightieth birthday my parents celebrated by lighting up the house with about two hundred diyas (oil lamps in earthen containers), and having a party at which delicious food and sweets and clothes were given to our domestic servants and their children.

A Resolute Self-sacrificing Woman by M. W. Potdar Print E-mail

Magan Potdar retired in 1985 as Superintending Engineer of the Bhakra Nangal dam, and is proud to have contributed to the building of what Prime Minister Nehru called as one India’s modern temples. He lives in Pune with his wife Suman.

She sacrificed everything for her son – her only child. In this materialistic world of today, one would be hard-pressed to believe that such a person actually lived.

My Memories - Dadi and 1942 by Surjit Mansingh Print E-mail

Surjit was brought up in many different places in India, went from Delhi University into the Indian Foreign Service, and subsequently joined her husband in academics, shuttling between India and the United States. Now a semi-retired professor with two grown-up sons, she lives with her Himalayan cat, music, books, and walks in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

My Dadi lived with us for the last years of her life when my parents and I returned from two years in England and were reunited with my three elder siblings. She was, in fact, my father’s bhua (father’s sister) who had adopted him when his own mother died shortly after his birth in 1904, and was known by us as Beji.

Dida by Partho Sengupta Print E-mail

Partho studied at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and XLRI, Jamshedpur. Cutting short a professional career, he is now enjoying teaching at an ordinary management school in Orissa, where students come from ordinary Indian families. He is married, and his daughter and son are university students.

She was called ‘ma’ at home by all her five daughters, never called by her first name by her husband, and always referred to in third person singular by her three sons-in-laws. She was born in Khulna District, Bangladesh, and her in-laws were rooted in Dhaka.

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