Old pictures bring back memories.
This must be from the late fifties. I have no memory of this being clicked but I will never forget the Kelkar family. Thats our immediate neighbor Mrs Kelkar on the right with her daughter Shalini behind. I used to call her Aaie (mother in Marathi) Aaie was more conversant with Marathi than with Hindi. But we used to get along well. She used to pamper me a lot. They had a big radio in their drawing room. (huge rooms with high ceilings built by the British) But what fascinated me more was the extension speaker which was in the kitchen. I used to sit on the small stool in the kitchen observing her as she went about happily doing her daily chores of cutting vegetables, cooking, making the water hot for husband’s bath (like a perfect dutiful bharatiya nari) all the while singing “Me dolkara, dolkara dolkara dariyacha raja, Vallhav re nakhwa ho vhallav re rama ” along with the song from All India Radio. It got into my head that when I grow up and have my own house I will listen to the radio and have an extension speaker in every room.
The best time to be in the Kelkar's house was during Diwali, or rather the month before Diwali.
The lovely aroma of the sweets being made. I had free access to all her sweet boxes and dabbas (one of the reasons why my dad used to forbid me from going there during diwali) The way Sharad made the aakash kandil taking great care that it should be perfect. Sharad (Aaie’s elder son) was another person who impressed me. He was very upright, no hanky panky stuff and even though I could not understand much Marathi in those days, I could make out that he was some one who had some principles and was fair in all dealings.
What you see above is the only picture I have of Mr Sharad. This was clicked about 26 years ago when he came with his daughter to attend my sister's wedding. His daughter is on the left and my daughter Nisha on the right.
Incidentally those two boys behind are my second cousins Anand and Jim.
Today I don’t have an extension speaker but my radio (World Space) is in my bed room and is almost always on for 24 hours. There is nothing like listening to the good old songs and radio Farishta is my favorite station on World Space. (I wonder if World Space will pay me for advertising on Blog)
At the first rain my dad used to make me stand at that spot, where you can see the white pail. “having bath in the first rain cures you of all illness” they say. Now I see why that spot was good because all the water from the tiles converge at that spot.
The four storied building seen behind is Rustom Baug, one of the Parsee colonies in Bombay. At the stroke of 8 in the morning you could hear a Royal Enfield Bullet take off, from Rustom Baug, (the firing of a Bullet motorbike is unique) I have never seen the owner but I can picture some one with a side car going to work (yes almost all the Bullets in Bombay had a side car)
Oh by the way that’s me in the center and my mom on the left. My Dad clicked this. He not only clicked it but developed and printed it himself at home. He was a self reliant man and did most of the things himself.