Maku Bhai s mom was Tara masi. She was in charge of having Garba in the gulli during navratri.
The galli we lived in was called Fatehpur gulli. It started with an optician who sold the most expensive glasses in our town. i think the name was Time Vision.
There were houses or makaans with in our lane which were atleast fifty sixty years old. Each house was joint to the next or seperated by a patli gully where people had their sewage and water pipe lines and threw their garbage down. All makaans had a shops on the ground floor and houses on the first and  second. 
The lane had a Punjab hotel. A shop called Chudiyaan which sold all Shringar items like bindi, chudis clips sindoor etc. We were allowed to shop there only during Navratri and Diwali. It was one happenning shop of my childhood. 
There was a Baniya called Virji Bhai and his son Natu bhai. They were my friend s Nana ji. Everyone had a khata running there. You paid only at end of the month. 
Then a tailor Jagdish Bhai and a Gathiya sev wala who made hot stuff on sundays. Very popular our Mansukh Bhai was. My gran used to get it for all of us children. There were six of us in the household.
My youngest sister could make out all the car horns without peeping we knew who had arrived in the lane. That was a talent which still continues with her. There were two wedding halls from further by lanes. The last house in Fatehpur gully belonged to my Mama. 
So at the dead end of fatehpur gully, we had garba every year under the strict vigilance of the men of the locality organised by Tara Masi and family. Before Navratri, we had practise sessions for one dance every day and the eighth day Ashtami was reserved for the best garba. All the women played Garba and the men folk stood around guarding. Earlier Tara masi even had all married ladies perform on some garba. My Mom was a very good singer and with a song book in her hand she used to sing and play garba with her friends. The men chewed their paan and all grandmothers sang the Arti and garbas. We did get doodh poha on the last day as prasad. Also there was this concept of "Laani "which means any one could give a steel vessel to all the kunwarikas who were performing under Tara Masi s keen eye.  We were very excited when we got a steel katori or a small plastic plate.
So  many sweet traditions, sweet memories.......


  1. Atta girl Parul! I felt I was reading R K Narain & Khuswant Singh rolled into one( My fav adolescence scribes).

  2. Hi parul...liked your style...nice, easy informal, very much your own. Im happy you are doing this. Liked your piece on the garbas organised in your lane. Very painted a vivid picture of what those years must have been like


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