Vajreshwari (Ganeshpuri) used to be one of the hotspots chosen by cousins as a picnic spot.The place known for its ashram and hot springs was a crowd puller from nearby towns and villages.But to think of it today adds a 'squirm' in the spine and goosebumps. Being much younger to the cousins.the up and down drive and the bathing at the hot springs still linger in my memory.
The cousins who led us were more prone to dating there and we kids hardly felt that 'dating' was forbidden. Then one day a boy and girl were found smooching behind the wall that protected the pooja room of the Swamiji. The young couple was admonished and supported (?) for the bold act.
Few hours in the lock-up
The couple ----close friends of a cousin went hiding throughout the stay. We kids got panicky. Then, all of a sudden we few kids with an elderly man went in search of a police station. The station was manned by a cop (constable) whose tobacco-chewing outsmarted his listening skills. Ultimately patience 'wearing out' for all, the constable stuck a notice outside the station: "Lost children with weird stories are put in lock-up. Responsible guardians can claim them to avoid further 'weird' happenings". The notice was in Marathi so less dangerous for us, as language became victim to gross misunderstanding.
Dating in a crowd? ........each one gawking and grinning at the other
The only 'dating' experience that I can think of when we (18 of us) decided to see a famous 'R K Film' - Bobby. All were paired except Shyamala and myself, perhaps girls outnumbered the boys. Happy in each other's company, we ate, drank (soft drinks) and spent the money we had, joyfully. Thank God we didn't have to coax, share and pretend to be generous. Oh, the movie over at last, we returned home quite oblivious to the fact that we had not informed people at home. Both our (Shamala's & mine) parents were debating about their nail-biting wait and scolding each other for being irresponsible.
How stupid parents can be? Neither of the four (our two moms and two dads) asked how the movie was. Of course, the only person seething with anger out of jealousy was my sister (elder).
Thereafter, my sister was allowed to watch a film every weekend without me. For me films were allowed only with sedate company, the elders as audience (spectators). Perhaps that explains the serious disposition I wear even today.