Friday, August 25, 2017

The Memoirs of an Eighty year Old- Episode XXII

Episode: Life at Lasur- Part 4

Hello readers! As we continue to know more about the experiences of grandparents in Lasur, we will in this episode know about a few more things.

1.     Cinemas
Lasur being a village had no movie theatre but they used the concept of open theatres by tying a white sheet and playing the movie on it, almost like our projectors. So if one had to watch a movie, they should carry their own chair or sit on the ground. The ones with the chairs were treated as VIP’s which meant they could watch the movies for free. It was here that they watched many hindi movies.

Also grandpa and grandma along with few others would travel via train to Aurangabad or watch the movies in talkies. Grandpa would manage his working shifts by collaborating with the other employees. That is how all of them could get time to relax and enjoy.

2.     Sightseeing
There are few famous places around Aurangabad that are a must visit, especially if one lives in Lasur. (Aurangabad is the nearest city/town from Lasur. It is the district Head Quarters for the railways of that area.) Many of their relatives visited them to go to all these places. It was grandpa and grandma’s duty to act as their guides. It was fun, they tell me.

Shirdi is one such divine and important location. It is the holy place of Saibaba’s temple where his Samadhi was built. But unlike now, back then there were no queues, no waiting and stampede. People could directly walk into the temple and sit for as long as they wished. The place was very peaceful and soothing, grandma adds.

Nasik and Triambakeshwar add to the list. The river Godavari originates from Triambakeshwar and Nasik is on its banks. Panchavati (the cottage of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita), Someshwar temple (Lord Shiva and Lord Hamuman), Muktidham temple, Sundarnarayan temple (of Lord Vishnu) are all located in this region.

Daulatabad is in the northwest of Aurangabad. It is the place where Muhammad bin Tughluq, built a fort and shifted his capital from Delhi for two years, despite the lack of water.

Bibi ka Maqbara is yet another construction or rather the tomb of the wife of Aurangazeb. He tried to replicate the design of Taj Mahal using a different stone.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad dist. are famous for the rock structures.

3.     Living Conditions

There was no power supply and they used the kerosene lanterns of larger size for light during night. They had no fans and rarely felt the need of those as they were surrounded by tress and open land.

The only way to communicate was to send a letter or a telegram. Grandpa says there were no banks either. People saved money in the Post Offices.

Grandpa received a salary of Rs.150/month which was the highest payment. He got additional amount ranging between Rs.10 and Rs.30 as an incentive if he crossed his area of 80kms and slept in the railway-provided room there.

So out of the Rs. 150/- he got he had to separate,
Rs.20/m- savings in P.O for 5yrs for their first child’s education.
Rs. 20/m- insurance coverage of 5K for 20yrs.
Rs. 40 /m- brother’s education. The remaining was for him and grandma. Imagine that!

“Yet we had such a good life back then.” Grandpa said. He would take grandma with him each time he had to go for a camp to any nearby place. There were no hotels so one had to carry vegetables, rice, pulses and cook their own food or get it cooked by a worker. They would pack their clothes, essentials, etc in a ‘camp box’ and get going.

Life was interesting and exciting in its own way, grandpa feels. So what next then, kids of course. Their first child, a girl was born when they were in Lasur. 

I’ll try and get a few details from grandma as to how she managed all alone with kids. That is for the next episode, till then, be happy be kind.. 

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