by Bhau Deshpande
Random memories of life in Belgaum(Now Belagavi) in 1950’s at times could be distorted.
Evening long walks from RPD corner to Rex talkies via Deshmukh road, Congress road, then the Mahadeo Darshan, then Globe, Bogarves and a halt at the Grand hotel for special Uppit with cashew nuts aplenty and covered with grated fresh coconut.
On the way at times a halt near Railway Station for watching a big hockey match with Internationals Bandu Patil and Shankar Lakshman in full action. Occasionally an English matinée starring Clarke Gable, Awa Gardenar, Rock Hudson and so at the Globe or the Rex if the pocket money permitted.
Katayya in camp for made to order footwear and tailoring from Borges. Hair cut from Lords opposite Krishna theater (Kirloskar road), a cricket crazy owner updating the score card on the make shift black board on the wall, with a running commentary on radio by Bobby Talyarkhan bringing the game to life- road almost blocked.
The owner of the Light of Asia washing company opposite Bara Ghadghade bhavi/ vihir proudly displaying his credentials “London Returned”.
Puri Bhaaji at “Paranjape yanche Pharalache Dukaan”- market and corner of Kadolkar Galli. MASALE DWASI at Jolly restaurant near BK Model high school or at Cafe light.
Early morning on way to railway station a halt at Meenaxi Bhavan /Amba bhavan for Shira or bread bhaaji, Kadli gida as a pastime during the evening walks. Alipaak with juice from Sugar cane crushed between two wooden logs by the bullock going merry-go-round in the paddy field along the Congress road. Addressing the waiter as “Swamy” or Rayare”;
Cricket matches for Latthe shield,;Public meetings addressed by Shri Baburao Thakur, Shri Anantrao Chikodi; early morning discourses by Patwardhan Bua at the Maruti temple.
On Wednesdays listening to Ameen Sayni’s Binaca Geetmala in Shanta Niwas/ Mohan restaurant as radio was a rare house hold gadget.
Spray painting of laundry washed clothes during typical Belgaum monsoon while walking on the Angol Road, Fort road. Palekar brothers of Hindustan washing Co. taking care of soiled clothes. And what not? Morning hawkers of Sevanti phulanche male or Ghya Dahi?
It was a pleasure if you get Tonga No.1 ride driven by a beautiful majestic white horse, very often used for ceremonial processions- marriage etc. Then there was no such concept as public telephone, one could make local phone calls mostly from hotels free of cost through the operator: only coin box telephone was at the Railway station and when one raised the handset, the operator used to advise “Please drop a two anna coin”.
So much to call back; dwarfing the life when peeped through at this distance of life!
Maps courtesy: Google Maps