In the early till the late 80s in a place like Nepa, nobody had personal cars, few had two wheelers, and those in designation of DGM ( Deputy General Manager onwards) used to have Company Cars to commute between office & home usually. Despite trying hard to recollect, I bet if I knew anyone there who could claim to have personal car in Nepa as late as till 1996. Papa bought his scooter in 1989 and till 1988 we were in a colony where one of our neighbours were Jafri Family. Some of the people from Nepa would still remember him as one to get scooter & thereafter car earlier than most amongst Nepaiites.
Those who have better understanding about Maithil Brahmins can say safely that we belong to ranks of most conservative Brahmins still taking pride,rather false though, in our caste.
So when my parents came to Nepa in 1983, it was easy for them to mingle with other neighbours except this one family. We are Brahmins afterall thus how could we have even water in a Muslim’s house. I do not remember the exact year but remember the time. It was Dusshera time & Tangas (Horse-carriages) were the only public transport in Nepa then. We were back from Nepa’s Nehru Stadium a bit late by 10’0 clock in night. Our house was on the first floor of the block we used to stay at . Before our parents could climb the stairs, the usual energy most kids are blessed with made us to run & climb the stairs before them. Kids often find fun in these small stuffs and we were no different then. While we were still playing among us, my brother’s foot skidded from the stairs & he kept rolling down. The path were laid with sharp-edged big stones & thus his head got hit badly . In the entire line then only Jafri Uncle had scooter and that late in night he took it out immediately to rush to Hospital. Four kids of similar age-group meant that we were always a team ready to play together. On one such afternoon, me & my Brother were competing among ourselves on jumping off from the bed to the floor when suddenly he got hit by the wood of the door. Ouch, another accident. And again Jafri uncle was there to take him immediately to Hospital. The thread of relationships are soft & thin but continuous weaving makes it strong. There are many moments in between due to which we became much like each others extended family & in the process of weaving those threads my parents forgot that they are Maithil Brahmins and thus forgot to teach us as well the difference. Each time, I come across someone from Lucknow, I feel the connection we still have with Jafri Uncle & Aunty’s family.