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Friday, 22 November 2019

NaBloPoMo 2019: Day 22: Water woes and cycling and TV

Sometime before we started Sudarshan Stores, Amma had achieved yet another important milestone.

At 43 years of age, she became a grandmother!

Some months after she started managing the shop, it was time for her granddaughter’s first birthday which was being celebrated in Bangalore. The new, confident Amma traveled alone, for the first time, by bus from Goa to Bangalore. She attended the event, stayed for a day or two, and came back, again alone.
Amma with her first grandchild on her first birthday

Little later, we shifted to a new house. This was a little more spacious but there was no water supply to the house and water had to be filled from a public tap that was located a 5-minute walk away.

Early every morning, Amma would carry home water from there in two brass pots. One was angular, and she’d balance that on the left side of her waist; the second one was circular, she’d hold that in her right hand, and trudge the distance, making maybe 7 or 8 trips. Later in the evening, or at night, she’d go again to bring the water. 

We had a water pot like this at home. Amma would scrub it with tamarind paste and make it shine!
I’d go with her for two trips every time she went, and she had given me a small bucket to carry the water. I was then in 6th Std. At this time, Vijaya was in Ranchi (which was then in Bihar), pursuing her post-graduation in Psychiatry. Vatsala (completing her MBBS internship) and Bhargavi (doing her B. Pharm course) were away in their respective hostels in Panaji, and would come home only on Saturday-Sunday, so it was just me and Komala with Appa and Amma throughout the week.

Those were the days when very few people had televisions in their house. Our house owner was one of them. Komala and I would occasionally go in the evenings, after having finished our homework, to their house to watch TV. Anyway, there was nothing to do until Amma came back from the shop at night.

The neighbor’s family was quite ok with us joining them. Or so we thought. Then one day, we had just gone and sat down, when their daughter abruptly got up, switched off the TV and went away and didn’t come back even after we called out to her.

We got the message.

And reported to Amma and Appa.

They were not too happy either.

Little after that, Appa bought a portable black-and-white TV. 

I remember watching the film “Meera” with M.S. Subbulakshmi on that TV.

Appa also bought a ladies cycle, and Bhargavi taught me cycling.

After mastering it, I’d go every morning to buy milk from a shop close by. The guy in the shop was a smiling-faced chap, but creepy. I remember wondering if I should tell Amma about him, but then, decided against it. Because then, she’d tell me not to go and would have to go herself – one more task on her already burdened plate.

So, I simply learned to position myself sufficiently far away while he dropped the milk packets into the bag in my hands. Having read something in Reader’s Digest (yes, I was a voracious reader always), one day I took a safety pin in my hand, to jab at any hand that moved too close. But I didn’t get to use it – someone else who was non-creepy had started manning that shop, and soon, we moved from that place.

Appa found a house that was a little farther away from the shop – on the National Highway that led to Belgaum. It was located opposite the Central Hospital, just behind the government school. With his savings, and maybe borrowing some amount, he bought that house.

After moving there, we bought a color Salora TV.


  1. Ha ha ha... The safety pin trick.... I have a similar story... Loved this article.

  2. It is always tougher for girl children in our society...


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