“Ichhey thakle upaye hoye,” an ageless Bengali phrase that translates into English as “Where there is a will there is a way”- is the motto of a grandma who knows how to play the twilight years of her life best. Quitting or giving up is not in her dictionary yet.
She decided to ditch the notions people have about old age and instead became a source of inspiration for children, teenagers and elderly people alike. So, in case you still think that only young minds are best, kindly second guess your opinion!
In a delightful conversation with Life Beyond Numbers, 89-year young and charming Latika Chakrabarty shares why age is just a number and that anyone can join the game of becoming an entrepreneur if they have the will to do so.
What does it take to create your own happiness? Learn from this grandma, who loves to meet new people and pens down her thoughts in the form of poems. Don’t forget stitching is also on her list, well it is her passion.
Born in Assam’s Dhubri, Latika was married to Krishna Lal Chakrabarty, an Officer-Surveyor from Survey Of India. When LBN approached her and asked whether she would prefer to share her thoughts in Bengali, the sweetest thing happened. Latika says, “I have studied in an English medium school and I am well versed in this language.”
Latika continued her studies even after her marriage and due to her husband’s and son’s profession, she got to travel and stay at many locations across India. It was during her travel, she collected old saris, kurtas, and clothes from all over India and recycled them into one-of-a-kind potlis. Therefore, every beautiful bag stitched by her has a history and a unique story of its own.
After the demise of her husband, Latika shifted to Bangalore, where she now lives with her son, Capt. Raj Chakravorty, who is an Indian Naval Officer. “I cannot sit idle. I like to keep myself busy with something or the other. Same with studies, when I was pursuing it, I did it will discipline and determination,” she says.
Equipped with Discipline and Determination at this age, Latika tells LBN, “I like to read newspapers every morning and from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm every day, I focus on making potli bags. I keep on making bags whether it sells or not.”
She recalls how once she made a fancy bag for her granddaughter and she liked it so much that it inspired her to think why not make similar bags for others. Latika says, “My daughter-in-law and grandson, also told me to let the world know what I am capable of at this age. The love of my family members inspired me to start something new.”
Thanks to her family, the octogenarian now has her own online venture Latika’s bags, where you will find the pretty and cute potlis attached with fancy drawstring available for purchase.
Not Google, but Usha machine is her friend, with which she spends just the right amount of time when it comes to stitching pretty bags. “No matter what your age is, if you have the passion for something you love, you will always succeed at it,” she says.
Stitched with Love
How beautiful it is that Latika shows not the contrast, but the similarities between handwoven attires by grandparents and branded outfits that Millennials crave for today.
Chakravorty says, “Today youngsters abandon the old and look for new. They need this constant change in their lives, so while making potlis, I keep in mind the changing taste of people. To look for something new is human nature and therefore, there is no harm in accepting something beautiful. Everything can co-exist together.”
Latika is not addicted to appreciation. “It makes me happy to say that people feel inspired by my work. Be it, youngsters or elderly people, they get the courage to do something of their own and stick with it no matter what. To everyone around me, I always say that don’t let anyone tell you that it is too late to start,” she concludes.
Passion, creativity, and enthusiasm have nothing to do with age. Latika proves that beautifully through her work. Take care of yourself and life will present you with all the beautiful gifts, which will be enough to keep yourself inspired and others motivated.