Vani’s Musings

Summer Reminiscenses – Part II

Posted on: March 15, 2007

As soon as mama was back from office, the household would get divided into two groups. My cousins and I forming one, and all the elders, the other. We would walk together to the center of the town to the only decent restaurant (if it could be called that!) and disperse after snacks. The elders either took a Cycle rickshaw home or walked back slowly, to begin the evening cooking. Since Fridge was a luxury seen only in the homes of the very senior officials, perishable articles like dairy products and vegetables had to purchased and consumed fresh.

 Most evenings were spent strolling in the town. We used to walk or take the cycle rickshaw, which went “Chink-Chak” because of some bell or something the pullers attached to the wheel. I loved these rickshaws; they were a novelty to me, something I missed in Bangalore.

 Our usual haunts would be the hanuman temple at the fag end of town or the lone theater that screened English films. If we went to watch a movie, that would take a couple of hours, otherwise we would play hide and seek in the temple and usually one of the servants came in search of us and herded us back home.

 Almost three-fourths of all the days we stayed there were spent this way. In the remaining few, we would squeeze a trip to the nearby pilgrimage points.

 Those journeys again were by Tonga or Tractor or Lorry. If the place we wanted to visit was far, we took a train there too.

 Well, to write about those journeys would be a story by itself, and I would not like to bore you, dear readers into reading them.

 The return trip would be with our hands full of bonda-bajjis and Kadlekai which we munched as we walked, listening to the servant tell us stories of which I hardly understood a handful of words. Most of these stories were about people who turned into ghosts after committing suicide on the railway tracks.

 It was then time to listen to “Vaarthalu” on the radio, comprehend a few Telugu words, guided by an impromptu Telugu lesson by mama, have dinner in the backyard in the breezy moonlight and then spread out the mats and go to sleep. No one ever used mattresses or cots in that town because of the heat.

 The neighbor aunties  “Ramaa Atha” and “Aruna Atha” (Ramaa aunty and Aruna Aunty) were very kind to me and often prepared delicacies for me.

 Since Guntakal is a major junction on South Central Railway, we got to see people from different parts of India.

 Most of the festivals were celebrated commonly; all the railway employees celebrated festivals

 The Navaratri festival organized by the Gujarati and Bengali Associations was a huge crowd puller every year.

 Christmas was also a huge hit, with the lone chapel being decked up for the occasion.  The Railway Station and the Loco Shed were close by, and so the lat thing we heard at night and the first thing we heard in the morning, rather something that acted as an alarm was the hooting of the Steam Locomotives.

 My mom tells me that the first ever time she took me to Guntakal after I was born, maybe at the age of 11 months, I was terrified of the hooting, and wailed continuously, did not allow her to stay even for a day. She had to bring me back by the next train.

 Subsequently she was quite surprised by my reluctance to get back to Bangalore after spending time there.


Mama retired from service in 1993. Since then I have never visited Guntakal, do not know how it looks today. I’d prefer not to see it now, lest development has brought about an unwelcome change in the town and the people’s attitude. I prefer to remember those sweet people and the ambience I so loved.

Wish I could take my children to some such place where they could enjoy their childhood as much as I did.


11 Responses to "Summer Reminiscenses – Part II"

You should have had lots of fun then!

How did you like the food there? Was it hot and spicey?

Steam locomotives are already part of history!

It was fun, Mohan ! And the food…mouthwatering, spicy

I could go on and on about this little place…………………………..

Nice story.. you can bring in your children to ulsoor Vani..
In bangalore, from sanjay nagar to Ulsoor you know its another ooru.. & “enjoying the childhood & having good memories is guaranteed”

I have seen guntakal as well and you were so lucky your mama was a Raiwaly senior official and you enjoyed much because of the big house in railway colony and so many supportive staff !!!!!!
for us it was always a stop and proceed type in guntakal we
used to go to bombay my paternal aunt’s place and we leave by morning train reach guntakal in noon and go to my cousin’s place her husband was a teacher spend some time have evening tiffin/food and back to station and catch the madras bombay train in the evening and start journey to bombay (today’s mumbai)
small house of cousin but with full of love and affection so much they used to take care my parents usually finish their
eating there mostly they will live upto reaching bombay on fruits etc., only where as we had all the things on the way
the joudrney between poona and bombay was one of most
enjoyable part as we use to pass through ghats and about 32 tunnels it was a great experience to trave in electric run train from poona to bombay
kasapura a place near guntakal famous for anjeneya temple there was our place of visit if we are in for a extra day in guntakal. Now it is history my guntakal cousing is in bangalore with her children
thanks vani for taking me back to memories
guntakal was hot but people there were cool

veena vani usha yenappa madodu confuso consfuso
vani veena usha, usha veena vani adjust madkolii please
earlier post veena to be replaced by vani parva illa bidi

Good post Vani.. spicey food. Yes Andhra fod is rich in varieties and savouries and spice too

Wonderful memories 🙂 Brought back my childhood memories too 🙂

Thank you for that revisit to Guntakal.

Naanu bundidde nim jote-in 1981-October.

Ajji had come.

I still remember that lovely saree N and Vaini gave me.It was my second saree-and a favourite among my friends in the hostel!! So much so that I would roam the corridors to find who was wearing it on a given day.


You would have different capers in your hostel and exchanigng sarees right…put it down in your blog and that would make a good read for all.

madhura nenapugalu,mohanji.
will surely write about it.thanks

Dear All
wish you a very happy prosperous UGADI


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