Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Memoirs of an Eighty year Old- Episode XX

Episode: Life in Lasur- Part 1

Hello again readers. I am back with new adventure for this episode. Our young couple shifted to a different place and is settling in. They live in Lasur form 1961-1963.

Grandpa being a PWA he was allotted a separate quarters to live. This place was spacious with a fairly big house, an outhouse and empty land surrounding it. But there were no other houses anywhere near this place.
The living quarter of the station master was one side and the village on the other. Usually railway stations were built in the outskirts of a village, hence their house ended up being on the outer circle.

That of course did not stop granny from making friends with the villagers or the wives of other railway employees. Being the youngest couple eased the way for them, grandpa said.

“People were willing to help and guide us. They took my young wife under their wing and she bloomed. This was the best phase of our lives with just two of us to have fun and enjoy. We went sightseeing, had potluck lunches, fests in farms, watched movies by travelling to another city, Oh! That is what life is all about. The current generation knows nothing about enjoying life in such a healthy manner.”

“And did I tell you how popular your grandma was among them? Everybody loved and respected her. She was the heart and soul of the place.” He says and I notice how his eyes sparkle. Well, grandma is truly the best. Touchwood.

So I ask him about his job. “I was an assistant PWA and my job was to examine the railway tracks which were in meter gauge then, and make sure they are in good condition; getting the repairs done on time, making sure the workers and doing their job, etc. I had no fixed timings though. I had to work during the day or the night irrespective of the weather. I had a senior officer to whom I had to report and lot of workers who reported to me. We had to hire a good number of contract labor.”

“But I want you to write about her and her experiences more. She made friends, cooked great food for all my seniors who visited to inspect the work and organized everything.” Grandpa insisted and I proceeded to do just the same.

Grandma speaks

After grandpa gave me the data and I made notes, I had few questions for her. I hoped that from those answers I will be able to give you better material to read and she did give me some answers which as usual are one-liners. (I had to write them longer for you to read)J

Q1: How did she feel when she knew she had to live in another state with her husband?
Ans: “I don’t think I felt anything different since she already lived in Secunderabad for almost 2yrs. I was also reading Hindi books to learn some basic words.”

Q2: When did you learn to cook? How did you manage it all alone?
Ans: “I learnt little cooking from my mother and little form my mother-in-law. Rest, I developed on my own by trying out the recipes in magazines. It wasn’t much trouble anyway. Also I had a man servant to bring water, clean the house and sit as a security outside the house all day. I wasn’t bored either.”

Q3: Did grandpa ever complain that the food was not tasty?
Ans: “No, he didn’t. I cooked basic dal and rice for years, there is hardly anything to complain about that since it was his doctor who advised to feed him lots of pulses. There was no gas stove and cooking was done on sticks or coal back then. Food tasted different and good.”

(Grandpa adds- “I am very compromising person. I never complain.”
To which granny said- “One should not say that about self. The others have to say it.”)

Q5: How often did you have family visiting you? Was there too much interference?
Ans: “We had visitors and we played guide to them by taking them around the place, but that’s it. Transportation wasn’t easy the flow wasn’t regular. They left us to live our life the way we wanted.”

Q7: What about the lunches, crafting, gardening, etc.?
Ans: “That is for the next episode. ;)  Ask your grandpa, he’ll tell in detail and I’ll add my points to it.”

Till we meet again folks! And yes in case you’ve got any questions of your own do let me know so that I can post the answers in the next episode. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Drip.. Drop.. Drip..

Drip.. Drip.. Drip..
The rain drops tickled me;
soft as a feather,
light as bubble,
reminding me to smile.

Drip.. Drip.. Drip..
Red umbrella came to my rescue,
when the rain wrapped around,
not letting me go, as I stood
in the middle of nowhere.

Drip.. Drip.. Drip..
With grass green shirt,
sky blue skirt and
earthy brown boots,
I felt a part of nature.

Drip.. Drip.. Drip..
New music surrounded me;
rain drumming on the umbrella,
boots splashing the puddle,
laughter bubbling from my heart.

Drip.. Drop.. Drip..
Pitter.. Patter.. Pitter..
Splish.. Splash.. Splish..
Giggle.. Laugh.. Giggle..
The child in me is back again.

Painting by Mrs Ratna Pochiraju

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Memoirs of an Eighty year Old- Episode XIX

Episode: Start of Independent Life

Hello readers! Hope you all are doing well in your lives and also waiting for this episode. ;)

So my last episode ended with the mention about our grandpa’s first job posting in Lasur, Maharastra or rather Marathwada. In case you missed it, here is the link.

Now there is quite a lot for me to write about their adventures and experiences for the next 35 years or so. They travelled and lived in different places in and around Andhra, Telangana and Maharastra making their home in each place they lived. And it takes a woman to turn a house into a home, no arguing on that point.

In the coming episodes we will read and try to visualize if the new cultural and geographical conditions influenced our grandma since she was still very much a girl when she went to live in an entirely new place with her husband.

During the times when there were no telephones, electricity, no cooking gas stove, let alone internet, computers or google translator, grandma has not just managed but ruled the entire concept of socializing with everyone.

Grandpa told me that before I actually start writing about their lives in Lasur, he wants the readers to know of the time he was still a trainee in the railways for one and a half year.

“It was both theoretical and practical training. As a trainee I was given a single room to stay; just a rectangular room with a window and a door. I and your granny lived there.”

“She comes from a fairly decent family and was used certain comforts at home that were available during our times. But here she had absolutely none of those. We pulled curtain to divide the room into two parts, one for makeshift kitchen and other for living-cum-bed.”

“We owned one chair, a small tea table and thin mattresses to sleep on by spreading them on the ground. She adjusted to everything with any compliant. I always admire her for the inner strength is she possesses to handle any situation.” Grandpa said smiling.

One cannot really help but try to learn a few things from grandma. Though she is very modest and says she cannot manage much we know it’s not true. She has always been the anchor for grandpa and he loves her just as she loves him.

Meet you again in the next episode in which I will give a brief outline which will be elaborated in the further episodes. The reason for such being that there is much to write about and I do not want to exclude any detail.

So till then, be happy, be kind..