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Til- Gul and good words.......
Reminiscence

Til- Gul and good words.......

Durgadas P.V.

Poona. Deep bunglow Chowk. Asaavari co-op housing society. Flat G 1. Three bachelors stayed there during 1970s. One was a medical representative (MR) in a company called Boots. I had just joined the bank as a probationary officer. The third, an engineer worked in Bharat Forge. All of us were new to the town.  We had displayed a board BBB outside the flat. The MR and I owned Yezdi and Jawa motorcycle respectively. Our engineer friend was lucky to enjoy the company transport to commute for his work.  He also had the privilege of the pillion of our motorcycles whenever we went out on common errands and our outings to paint the town red.....?

During the day time we were busy on our own. Our outings got planned extempore in the nights. We used to go for a quick pav bhaji at Bund garden, a milk-shake at Deccan Gymkhana or at least a bun muska and hot tea at the Good luck Irani restaurant. Many nights, we decided on a night show at West End or Alka and returned in the wee hours of the mornings.

The flutes of the motorcycle exhaust pipe had been removed to give a thunderous sound so that the watchman of the housing society  woke up before reached the gate. There lived a Maharashtrian family: a couple, their teenaged daughter and mother right above flat in the second floor. The girl was very beautiful. She studied in the local college. Many a days, when we entered the compound on our noisy mobikes , she came to the balcony. That certainly gave us more encouragement to raise the throttle as we reached home. Father of the girl was a working as a security officer in a company after retirement from the Army. Apart from exchanging namaste or good morning, we hardly knew each other.

It was a Monday morning. All three of us were fast asleep as we went to bed at about three in the morning. We had gone to see a movie. Before we hit the pillow, we had an hour or two of Rummy game. The bell rang continuously for a minute. As I opened the door, the security officer stood at the door with the right hand placed on the frame of the front door. Even before exchanging " good morning " he started his loud outburst against our nocturnal habits. He was quite belligerent in his talk. He was complaining that we were spoiling the night sleep of the residents of the society. As we started arguing with him on our rights,  the situation almost slipped into a verbal fight. A few other neighbours entered the fray and diffused the tension. Though our neighbour particularly referred to the disturbance to his mother, we knew that he was more bothered about his daughter coming out on the balcony to watch us.  We could understand that he suspected all of us to be Romeos.

The week passed without any event. Our MR friend was on tour out of station. I was busy with auditors in the branch.

The next Monday, MR was in Sancheti hospital on his normal routine call to doctors. Suddenly he saw someone being brought to the casualty ward after a road accident. Alas, it was the balcony fairy. She was brought to the hospital by some strangers. Our friend rose to the occasion. He wasted no time. He accompanied her to the ward, met the doctors and other staff who were well known to him. He ensured that she was given the best treatment immediately. By the time the security officer came to the hospital, our friend was in the ward attending to her. He thanked our friend profusely. He was apologetic too. The girl returned home after a couple of days with her left arm in the sling.

The Monday next was Makarsankranti. In the morning I opened the door to collect the morning news paper and milk. I was taken aback as the balcony fairy was standing there holding a plate filled with sweets along with her parents...." Til Gul ghya, god god bola...." * they told in unison. We guys could not realize what was happening. They came into our living room which was at sixes and sevens, explained the importance of the day and made us take the sweet. The meeting which was in contrast to the one we had a fortnight ago lasted for over ten minutes. It was a harbinger for a lasting  cordial relationship......

* These Marathi words roughly translate as follows.....please take Til Gul and talk sweet words....The Til Gul is a sweet made of sesame seeds and jaggery...

Epilogue....

The MR friend got engaged and he got a Chetak scooter from his in-laws on the day of betrothal. Our engineer friend got a better job and moved to Bombay. I fitted the flutes back in the motorcycle. And shifted my stay to Koregaon Park leaving the flat for the newly Weds.

The balcony fairy got married and migrated to USA.

All of us exchange  messages on every Makarsankrati day for the past ten years on  " Til Gul and sweet words "......