How I Taught My Grandmother to Read – CBSE Notes for Class 9 English Literature Reader

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How I Taught My Grandmother to Read’ is a story of a village in North Karnataka. Sudha Murthy, the author was only twelve years old. Still at the age of twelve, She taught her grandmother, who was an illiterate old woman, to read and was elated when her grandmother started reading the magazine.


This work of fiction is a story of a village in North Karnataka where a little girl who was twelve years old lived with her grandparents. The transport system in the village was quite bad and the villagers used to get the morning paper in the afternoon and the weekly magazine, one day late. The people of that village were very fond of Triveni, a popular writer in Kannada language. She wrote in an easy language and convincing style. The villagers used to read a weekly magazine called ‘Karmaveera’. This magazine dealt with an old lady who had a keen desire to go to Kashi as it was a popular belief that worshippingLordVisheshwara in Kashi was the ultimate punya. Like every villager the author’ s grandmother, Krishtakka was also fond of this weekly magazine. As she could not read, her granddaughter used to read the next episode on every Wednesday. Then she used to go to the temple courtyard to discuss the latest episode with her friends. One day, the narrator went to a neighbouring village to attend a wedding ceremony. She did not come back for a week. When she returned, she saw her grandmother in tears. She was a bit worried as her grandma always kept a smile on her face. She asked her tire reason once or twice but her grandma never replied back. Then at night, she came and sat beside the narrator and started telling her the story of her life how she became so busy in cooking and feeding her children and grandchildren and thus could not go to school.
Then she told the narrator that she missed her as there was no*one to read the next episode of ‘Kashi Yatre’ when she was away on a wedding so, the grandmother decided to learn the Kannada alphabet from the very next day. The granddaughter laughed at the old woman but, grandma was firmly determined and from the next day, she started taking tuitions from the little girl. Grandma would read, repeat, write, recite and do the homework as well. At the age of sixty-two it was amazing.
The deadline : The Dussehra festival came. The magazine had been published as a novel by that time. Grand-mother came and touched the feet of the narrator as she was the one who had taught her to read and become independent. The narrator gave the book to her grandmother as a gift, her first student, who read it immediately. The narrator was quite pleased With her student and herself as she had taught an old woman with wrinkled hands, wearing spectacles how to read.