Eighty-three-year-old Lalitha Ramakrishnan shares her stories with everyone through her blog
She is quick on her toes, witty, knits faster than light, has been solving crosswords for decades, has earned the title ‘Masterchef' from her children, and has seen history being written in front of her eyes. But, what's fascinating is a journey she ventured into eight years ago — blogging.
Eighty-three-year-old Lalitha Ramakrishnan, fondly called Maiji by her family, began putting words onto virtual space when she realised she had many things to say. “After a point, your mind is crowded with memories, but not everyone has time to listen to them. That's when I realised I needed to share these. My daughter began the blog for me shortly after my son presented me a netbook,” she says.
Her life story
Her blog is a personal account of her life, with poignant events making up a chunk of it. “I was recently approached by a woman writing a research paper, who wanted to talk to me after reading my blog. Since I've lived through the Independence movement and World War II, she wanted a personal account of it,” says Lalitha.
After passing out with a Faculty of Arts in Trivandrum (her hometown) in 1942, she was married to T.K. Ramakrishnan, a Central Government employee, who later retired as the Joint Secretary to the Home Ministry. She spent most of her married life in Delhi, later shifting to Pondicherry for a few years (the second half of her blog focusses on this part of her life). “Every time I remember something, I just go over to my netbook and key it in. My daughter posts it on the blog. We decided to do it in chapters, and hence I opened another blog to write about my life in Pondicherry. I love blogging. It helps me reach out to not just my family across the world, but others too.”
An avid reader, Lalitha began writing after her husband's death. “I used to read a lot, mostly driven by my family. My husband and kids just picked up books, and made me read them. And, the habit stuck on. When my husband passed away, I began to write a lot. I would just sit, and pen down thoughts. I never wanted to get published though. The first time I ever wrote was in school, and when I submitted my story it got trashed. I did not try after that,” she laughs.
Lalitha shares her recipes too on her blog. “My mother was an amazing cook, and I learnt some recipes from her. I love to cook, and am happiest when left in the kitchen. I jotted down my mother's specialities, and wanted to share them on the blog. Every time I make something, which is now rather rare, I put up the recipe there,” she explains.
Maiji continues to keep herself busy many other ways too. When she's not knitting, she's reading a book or solving a crossword. “I'd like to keep my brain busy. If I don't keep challenging it, it will just die down,” she says.
Maiji blogs at http://memories-and-musings.blogspot.com/ and http://lifeinpondicherry.blogspot.com/