'Santatwachya Paulkhoona’ author shares her story at PILF
Born in a small village on the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka, Shanta Girbhane has an inspirational story to share.pune Updated: Sep 11, 2017 23:52 IST
Born in a small village on the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka, Shanta Girbhane has an inspirational story to share. Speaking to Anjali Shetty at the Pune International Literary Festival, she spoke about her encouraging mother and supportive husband. She took to writing in her mid 50s and has written a collection of poems - Ushakaal (Sunrise) and a few booklets like 'Lekvachwa, deshvachwa' (save the girl child, save the nation). Her latest book 'Santatwachya Paulkhoona' (Footprints of Sainthood) in Marathi was released on Sunday. Following are excerpts from the conversation.
When did you develop a liking for writing?
My mother was illiterate, but she ensured I went to school and developed an interest for reading. I was married off when I was in Class 4 and hence had to give up education. However, my mother kept pushing me to read. Fortunately, my husband was a teacher so he guided and supported me to continue reading. I would read pieces of paper used to pack vegetables or masalas. I would get my hands on any piece of paper, read it and try and take notes. I always made it a point to make notes of important teachings or lines mentioned. This habit grew and reading pushed me to write. I started writing poems, moved to anecdotes and even got some works published in popular newspapers.
What did you take back from Madhavrao’s story?
Santatwachya Paulkhoona is the story of Madhavrao Govindrao who took care of his mother and sister despite a deadly disease. I had read Baba Amte’s stories and was always intrigued to know how does one give up everything to support a cause for people. His experiences and journeys pushed me to search for similar stories. In this search, I came across Madhavrao, who has been selfless and giving throughout his life. His journey taught me that it is important to be content and happy. Materialistic pleasures remain for a while, but good deeds get you the much needed love and support. No award or recognition can be compared to love and compassion.
Your advice to young women?
I am an uneducated woman who managed to write books and columns. So, I don't see any reason why any one else can’t do it. We all simply put education at a high pedestal and make a big hue and cry about it. Honestly, a passion and intent to learn is important. Children and youth need to read and explore. We need a system that promotes practical approach than bookish knowledge.