In an age in which spinning the ‘charka’ is a skill fast becoming extinct, O. Devi and M.T. Thangamani turn up without fail at the Gandhi Griham in Kozhikode on every Gandhi Jayanthi and Martyr’s Day to perform their spinning ritual.

These two senior citizens have been performing this exercise with prayerful dedication and regularity since 1982.

On this October 2nd also, the two esteemed Gandhians arrived early at the venue with their one-spindle ‘kisan charka’ to carry out their ritualistic spinning from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Gandhi Griham authorities too do not forget to give them a call few days in advance and remind them that their visit is eagerly awaited.

“For us it is like a walk down memory lane. We remember with nostalgia the times when charka spinning was part and parcel of the Gandhian way of life,” say the two who were earlier engaged in khadi spinning.

With the closure of the khadi spinning unit at Gandhi Griham, they shifted to making handicraft items from banana, pine, and jute fibre.

Devi, a spinster, says she learnt spinning as a hobby during craft class while a student at Nadakkave Girls High School.

The two will once again be back at the Gandhi Griham with their spinning wheels on January 30, Martyr’s Day.

Maleeha Raghaviah

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