July 7, 2008

My second childhood home

Vishwas is only two years older to me, and one year ahead in school, we used to be together most of the time. We shared a common interest, namely the Meccano. We used to make cars and trucks and working cranes. Vishwas used to make cardboard camera using shuttlecock carton tubes and cardboard boxes and one magnifying lens and used to have "shows" of some advertising and sundry pictorial material that used to come to the "Artha" office. Our common interests also included the huge Hudson car belonging to the Anna Gokhale family from Baramati.
Though our compounds (Swagat and Durgadhiwas) were separate, there was an open corridor between them and Vishwas and I (and the much younger Raju Dongre who used to stay on the ground floor of "DD") used spend our evenings circling both the houses and the enormous plots around the two houses.
Subhash is much elder to us both and we were much in awe of him (I still am), as he was a model student, handsome and we used to be totally impressed when he used to go for NCC parades in the crisp uniform.
Sharad Deodhar, son of Appa, was older to me by 4 years, but he used to come during summer vacations and stay at Swagat, and so did Asha, Shriniwasdada's daughter, who is my age (she never fails to point out that she is 10 days older). We four used to really have a ball.
A cousin of ours, Sumati Karve, got married here in 1955, the family stayed at DD and the function was held at Swagat. It was my thread ceremony next year, and Dinesh got married in 1957. The two houses used to be so full of Kales, Deodhars and Gokhales, all of whom regard DD as THE headquarters.
Even today, I don't regard DD as anything separate from Swagat. It is one continuum.