I am a victim of the old Indian proverb – PAIRR MEIN CHAKKAR (a whirl in the foot) whose epitome is a person’s destiny to be always on his toes and not able to settle down anywhere. This proverb has been applicable to me for the past quarter of a century since I left my hometown – Sambhar Lake (Distt. Jaipur, Rajasthan) in 1988. During these twenty-nine years, I lived at several places and quite naturally, in different types of residences. The place which really won me over is Rawatbhata, a town year Kota in Rajasthan which is famous for atomic energy generation and now known for the Bollywood’s playback singer – Shreya Ghoshal also (who grew up there itself). I was earlier posted at Tarapur Atomic Power Station (Boisar, Distt. Thane, Maharashtra). After a lot of effort, I succeeded in getting myself transferred to Rajasthan Atomic Power Station at Rawatbhata in January 2001 and thus finally came back to my home state. There I was allotted by the management a small residential quarter in the colony named as Anu Kiran Colony. Today I am sharing my memories of that small quarter with my friends.
The quarter was numbered as Type II / 25 J. Type II quarters were quite small with only one bedroom and one drawing room (plus a kitchen, a balcony, a bathroom and a lavatory). However that quarter was found okay by me because at that time my family was quite small – myself, my wife and my little daughter. Hence the small size of the quarter was not at all any issue for me. A benevolent colleague of myself (in the Finance and Accounts department) – D.P. Rathod got the quarter properly cleaned and washed by some labour and when I entered the same after that, the floor was so wet that I slipped and fell, finding myself as spread eagle on the floor. Anyway, that incident whose memory still makes me smile, proved to be a good omen.
We got very good neighbours. The block contained six quarters – two on the ground floor and two on each floor with two floors overall. Ours was on the first floor and a very nice person – Zahid Hussain lived in the other quarter on the floor. Zahid Bhai was a person of my age group only and he was living there with his wife and two children – Honey and Shekhu. His daughter Honey was of my daughter’s age and very shortly, I found it difficult to segregate the two families. After a few days, I brought my luggage from Udaipur to Rawatbhata (since prior to that employment, I lived at Udaipur, Rajasthan and I had not taken my luggage to Tarapur, leaving the same in packed condition at Udaipur itself). Since the luggage was not much, a mini truck managed everything and the location of the quarter was such a good one with a wide overhang just over the entrance of the block that the goods were immediately taken from the truck to the gate of my quarter (without using the stairs) within a few minutes with the help of Zahid Bhai.
The house was set pretty soon and myself, my wife and my little daughter (four years old) had no issues with the smallness of it. The roof which was a combined one for the two adjacent blocks proved to be quite large. We enjoyed rainfall there. Taking snaps became a routine. My wife put a homemade swing in the balcony (which was covered completely by grill) and my daughter kept on enjoying that for a long time. My wife and Zahid Bhai’s wife behaved like real sisters and my daughter mixed up with their children in such a way as if they were real siblings. Our other neighbours were also good.The block was a part of four blocks situated at the end of two long lines of the Type II blocks. There was a lot of privacy. No crowd. No noise. There were stone benches on the ground (at the gates of the blocks) where the neighbours could sit and talk. In just the opposite block, Mrs. Chanchal Maalviya (employed in the HR deptt.) and her mother were living who soon got close to my wife. A shopping cluster containing some shops was extremely near and a Shiva temple known as Mukteshwar Mahadev was also within a walkable distance. Just behind the block, a small village (Gurjar Basti) populated by milkmen was situated.I always felt very peaceful in the house and used to listen to songs through cassettes on the old-fashioned player which was set in the drawing-room. We had set the TV in the bedroom and through an antenna taken from Mr. Rathod (he had a shop of electrical goods) we were able to watch many channels (in addition to Doordarshan) without taking cable connection (I don’t know how the antenna was catching signals but it did).
We spent two years and 3 months in that quarter and shared a lot of joys there. A sorrow also got shared there when my wife’s pregnancy case suffered a miscarriage. But overall, none of my residences in different places of the country gave me that much pleasure that I got in that small quarter. We shifted to a bigger quarter in May 2003 but I always missed living there. Nowhere else, I found such peace of mind and a sense of pleasure enveloping my personality.