While textbooks may give us facts and figures of our history, the true story resides in the lives and experiences of people who actually lived through this history. 

Like this grandmother, who at one time was branded as ‘too forward’, but who survived more than one pandemic, saw the rise and fall of Hitler, fought for and celebrated India’s freedom, to celebrate her 100th birthday in the year 2020. 

Humans of Bombay shared the story of ‘Ajji’, as she’s referred to by her grandkids, who was born in December 1920, and who recently celebrated her 100th birthday with her kids and grandkids. 

From meeting Gandhi ji to joining protesting freedom fighters to fighting for India’s freedom, her experiences are a glimpse into the milestones that defined the last century. 

The day we gained Independence…it felt like I was reborn. The smell of a free India was intoxicating. That night, my husband & I watched fireworks go off the entire night.
Outlook India

But her ideology holds the key to our future – changing and adapting with times. And never saying no to pizza. 

The women in my circle called me ‘too forward’ and even said that this way I would be spoiling my kids, especially when I insisted on getting a T.V. But I believed in one thing–adapting with changing times. So even as they were growing up, I was growing with them–I kept embracing change. Like there were times when my husband wouldn’t be okay with going out for dinner, but I insisted on going out and having pizzas and burgers with the kids. Honestly…who says ‘no’ to pizza?

From living through the milestones that shaped the world, to making her own milestones, like supporting her son’s inter-caste marriage, ‘Ajji’ has lived a long and fruitful life, that stands as both, an inspiration and a guiding principle for the world. 

My ideology is simple, beta–live and let live. And it’s because of this that my 5 kids and 10 grandkids have to have me for all their celebrations. And it’s because of that, that me, a 20’s kid has made it to 2020!

You can read the complete post here: 

All images from the post by Humans of Bombay, unless specified otherwise.