Sunday, October 01, 2006

KAPIL - VASTU ....My Nanihaal

Ba :My Nani Kapila Gulab Das Godiwala speaking to the Congress committee @ Bandra, Mumbai ( an old B /W photo )

My Nanaji Gulab das Godiwala & Nani [ Ba's ] home is exactly like this ---
its name is KAPIL - VASTU [ the name given by Papa ;--) because my Nani's name was Kapila !

It is on SV road / formerly called Ghod Bandar Road across from Bandra Talkies , Mumbai city , formerly called Bombay !!

This B/W pic. has my Nanaji : Sree Gulab Das Godiwala with his mother, my great Grand mother :Mota Ba
KAPIL - VASTU was so much like this Pic. ---click this link to see --

-- all around this SINGLE , HUGE Home are Parsee Colonies ----

we used to spend , so many Holidays there --- Like Raksha - Bandhan with my 3 Mamajis , 2 Masees & everyone's children & grand children --- Mota Mami = Dhan Gauri mami ,cooked the yummiest Surti food ---
her Daal was legendry ---- I've never tasted a daal like hers --- ever !
No one could duplicate her Taste -- not even my Nani / Ba nor my Amma --- but they both made the Best Rotlis :) ( Chappatis or fulkas or Rotis r other names ) Soft & white & thin & melt in your mouth kind ;-- )

We used to eat Mangoes by Dozens --

my Bade Mamaji : ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For Dussrrah, Ba would ask her eldest son, my Bade Mamaji = Bal Krushna whom every one called BABAR ;-)
( ya, like that First Mughal Emperor but every one called him BABAR because he was stronger then an OX ! He was born 13 pounds ;-) ....& lived upto the age 93 ....worked under the British Fire Brigade of Bombay ;-)) .....& had the same Postal address for more then 52 + years !!
So, Ba would ask, Babar mama , to arrange for 4/5 huge Brass , cylendrical tubs , to be cleaned, filled with clean & water Chaan ke, with huge ICE slabs to be filled & ready out side the compound Main Gate ....& ...many Glasses ...& water with Potasium chloride diluted in it ....& we would serve water to hundreds of thirsty people who came on that Main Road / Ghod Bandar road . for the RAVAN - Dahan Mela !!

We would be hanging on that balcony , watching the North Indians known as - the " BHAIYYAJI " community , gathered , in full strength ,
below on that main city street , buying Revdi, Shakkar ki Sufed tikiya, Batuwa = hand stitched purse, Parandas { to be worn in a plait = choti by a female, in her hair } ----

gaudy colored, sarees ;-) Bindiyas, Tikuli [ the shiny ones which the Wife of a Milk man or Vegetable vendor always wore on her forehead ....n red Sindur in her parting ....Glass Bangles / Kaanch ki Chudiyaan ....


Aamchoor powder, aam ka khatta achar , GOLA, [ ice crushed with syrup ] Ragda , [ white dried peas ] with an Alu / Potato pattis , bhel poodi, Hare Chane with Pyaj / onion & fresh lime juice , kulfi, rabdee [ thick n sweetened heavy milk ] ---- Gajre, paan, supadee ...............etc etc etc .

This HOUSE belonged to the legendry SINGER of yester years, RAJ KUMARI ........& nanaji purchased it out of his Pension Fund after he retired from the Central Railways as their Chief Wagon & Tracks Inspector.

He had joined the Services before Independance of India, under the British Govt. & then worked for a Free & Independant India.
My Nanaji's mother, MOTA BA , often called him, KIKO !! & this amused us greatly for KIKO means a BABY ;-)

Mota ba' lived upto the age of 103 n after she crossed over the 100 mark , new teeth started coming out ;-)

AllDoctors need to look into this Nature's Miriacle & do some Reasearch on this phenomenon , some day .
She had a strange Tale .

Her Father worked with the British & frequented Clubs , drank Whisky & Rum & went to SHIKAR his Father thought to have this New born Baby girl to have a Safe & secure future -

& his solution was to get her married to a new born baby boy of his friend whom he knew to be from a decent
family of their community.

so the wedding took place with a baby girl n a baby boy, still under the age of 1 year as they slept in their baby swings --- Such things did happen in 1800 Date / Time in India !

Unfortunately, this Baby Boy passed away around 8 yrs of his life.
All his Family & relatives decided to come & mourn the loss of this Son - In - law to the Girls Family residence !

But when The Gun weilding Father of the Baby girl of full 7 yrs of age, heard all this commotion, he was insane with rage & screamed, " what do you mean my daughter is married ? n ...I never heard of such stupid ritual -- never will I accept it for my dear daughter ! Get out or I will shoot you all ! "

& hearing his angry roar, the enthusiastic crowd ran helter skelter instead of mourning ....................................
That was a tragi / comic scene out of a Shakespearean Melo Drama if I ever heard of One !!

Well, A Girl's Life was saved from being sullied n went on peacefully , till she got married to her husband Nageen Das Godiwala & settled in the city of Bombay .................alas ! she lost her husband when he was just 31 yrs old :-( ...............
& her Eldest SON , my Nana ji, Gulab Das , joined the British Railways to support his Family ..................& ...
worked till he trired in this KAPIL - VASTU with his wife Kapila , my Nani , Our Ba, that Kind & gentle faced Lady who never spoke harshly n weaved KHADEE for her sarees & clothes which my Nana ji wore, Khadee Kurta & dhoti.

Ba was a simple lady who had studied upto class 4 --- but she was an able & astute Home Maker !

She gathered 200 hundred women & was the head of Bandra Ladies Congress Party Branch & even gave lectures in front of a mike ;-)
She arranged aanand - Mela { A Festive get together ] for all the women members & their children --- I recall
joining in the Fun n games n laughter n songs we played with these 200 families .
Those were wonderful days indeed !


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