Srikala Badrinarayanan

As Interviewed by N.V., March 25, 2018
"Girls were considered liabilities, and to invest on them would be a waste of the sources, because they would go away after marriage to another household, and boys, after marriage, would bring in girls to support the family. So, after college, marriage was the ultimate goal for girls."
Srikala Badrinarayanan

Introductory Profile: About Srikala Badrinarayanan

I interviewed my grandmother, Srikala Badrinarayanan (whom I call Kala Paati) about education. She was affected by the bias in the education system in India in the 1950s, as well as the lack of opportunities for women to pursue a career after marriage.

Srikala Badrinarayanan was born in the year 1953 in Chennai, a city in India. Her native tongue is Tamil which is spoken at home. She faced some obstacles in her early education as she had to learn through the medium of Tamil (her native language), while her siblings were educated through the English Medium. However, she overcame them and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Coming from a musically-inclined family, she received formal training in Carnatic music, a classical form of South India, for 10 years. After marriage she used her training to teach music to kids in the neighborhood. The day-to-day happenings and incidents within and outside the family inspire her to write fiction -- and her articles have been published in a leading women’s magazine. Her hobbies include solving crossword puzzles and sudoku and playing light music on keyboard. At 65, she has taken a keen interest in spiritual holistic healing methods, which she says give her peace and positivity in approaching events in life.

My grandmother is a very loving, caring, and extremely generous person. She can also be playful and has an infectious laugh, which makes the people around her happy. The tone of this interview was mainly light and comfortable, but a little serious in some places too. I had fun doing this interview with her, and she said that she had fun too going down memory lane.