My paternal grandmother Kumudini Dasgupta was a special woman. I did not really know her well nor did I make an effort to get to know her well while she was alive. I always found her to be distant and a bit of a critical snob. She was a dispassionate looking woman, who maintained her widowhood by wearing stark white saree , kept her hair short, eat only boiled food or really bland food without any onion, garlic or even much spices. All of these were as per the rotten and inhuman customs for Bengali widows, which she and others believed in (or so I thought). She died at 96 years and I wonder, how did she live for that long, with that diet? Anyway, to come back to talk about Kumudini (it means white lotus or moon) … she indeed was a remarkable woman … which I realised rather late, almost 43 years after her death.
In early 60’s Sahir Ludhianvi wrote one of my favourite songs “tu hindu banega na musalmaan banega, insaan ki aulad hai insaan banega ( you will neither become a hindu nor a moslem, be… Source: Beyond Peaceful Co-existence