Long, long ago there was a little girl. Yes, one more trip down memory lane. It is amazing how the blog invokes memory - of images that were lying dormant in my mind. Or was it the passport application form that I was filling up where I had to write my parents names several times.
My father on his postings outside Hyderabad, would move there and my mother and three kids remained in Hyderabd, so that our studies were not affected.
I remember traveling with my mother ( I wonder why my brothers were made to stay back home) to visit my father who was posted at Rajahmundry. It seemed a long drive. And the sight of the river Godavari was breathtaking. There was no road bridge then and we had to get the car on the ferry and it took almost an hour to cross the vast stretch of water. The guest house of the Paper Mills was on the banks of the river. And there were steps where we could sit down and let our feet into the water!!. I was told that there were crocodiles in the river and was always on the lookout for one that might stealthily creep up.
During one of our visits, we were taken and shown around the mill. I remember the huge boiler ( these were days of not so modern machinery). At the end of the visit we were given a scrap book ( of purple paper). I had paper cuttings of important news items stuck on the pages of this scrap book ( with cooked rice used as glue) for a very long time.
A few years later my father was posted at Bodhan in Nizamabad, this time he was in charge of the sugar mills. Here we made several trips with family and friends. The ride here was also very comfortable since my father's official car was a huge Dodge car. (It was quite fancy those days and on one instance our car was actually mistaken for the prime minister's car and we caused quite a few scary moments for the pilot motorcycle rider since we overtook him!!).
The house at Bodhan was large and had huge lawns . The tracks on which the train with wagons full of sugarcane passed close by and we were allowed the privilege of pulling out fresh sugarcane stems and biting into them ( my teeth were sharp then!!) and juice dripping all over. Evenings were spent sitting sitting on the lawns gorging on delicious snacks. Of course an educational trip to the sugar mills was part of every guests itinerary. The sight and smell of molasses was quite overwhelming. I don't know about my dad, but this was a job I quite enjoyed. I had a lot of fun sitting with the receptionist (while waiting for my father to finish his work) and transfer calls with the old kind of telephone exchange. For some time I was also a lift ( elevator) operator. All this while my brothers played table tennis in the recreation room.