My mother had greatest influence on my life. She gave me all the freedom to do many things. She was well disciplined and always made us go to school in time. We where three siblings, myself and two sisters – elder and younger. We almost never missed attending school or college. She does multiple tasks simultaneously and very fast. She can cook simultaneously on two stoves and also cut vegetables. She loves tea very much. I used to make tea for her whenever possible. She has taken care of my two nieces and my two sons too, when they were small and up to 5th class. She has lots of patience. Wakes up very early and does all the daily chorus even now. In the neighborhood my mother is the first one to wakeup and clean the place around the house. The sound of her sweeping with the broom stick and sprinkling of water are the first sounds along with the chirping birds.
As there was not compound the water used to come and touch our house during the rainy season. that is the full tank level. Once it happened that, my elder sister while carrying my younger sister while walking in the water, dropped her. Somehow she grouped in the puddle and found her. My father used to catch small fish using a pot. This method was simple, that he used to put some rice in an empty clay pot and place it in the water submerged and its mouth slightly tilted. Once the fish come into the pot by suddenly lifting the pot could catch the fish inside.
We used to buy some wood and also have some wood from the plants in the house compound. We always had a biomass stove outside the house and for inside cooking used the kerosene stove. My mother preferred to make Sorghum and wheat flour rotis on the biomass stove. This stove was usually made up of clay or bricks. Sometimes by adding sugar to the wheat dough made crispy sugar rotis. They were very good in taste. Avisha podi (flax seeds powder) with sugar was good with hot rotis. To remove any dust particle on the eyeball the smooth flax seed is put on the eye ball and rotated the eyeball. My mother also taught us to drink water after eating, if not the Wall Lizard would urinate in the mouth when we sleep. Any person who does not drink water after eating and after few hours when they open their mouth, it smells like the urine of wall lizards.
Everyday in the evenings, we used to sit outside the house on a mat made up of interwove leaves of palm date tree. We used to do homework and studies in the evenings and into the night. My mother used to see that we don’t deviate and focus on our studies. Soon after sitting for some time to do the homework and studies, I used to getup for toilet. My mother used to say, “if I say to study you remember going to toilet”. In those days we were not having regular electricity power supply. Those days we were using the kerosene lamps for light. There were three types of kerosene lamps – Pedda Kandil (with glass, it is well protected from wind and big in size), Chinna Kandil (small glass lamp) and Seesa Buddi (a used glass bottle most often “Quarter” whisky bottle, with a wick pierced into the cap, it is without glass). Sometimes for enough light used to bend a lot, close to the lamp. Sometimes smelt the burning hair. The hair used to burn from lamp heat. And then try to sit straight. My mother used to clean the lamp glass every evening with ash and a cloth. The light from the lamp was yellow and attractive. Seeing the flame was very interesting, now a days we dont feel like seeing the electric bulbs which are switched on such as filment bulb, CFL bulb and LED bulbs. They are boring and also harmful. The dancing yellow flame is more interesting as compared to any other light source.
Once I jumped over our compound wall and got my ankle sprained. My mother wanted to take me to Qurshid Doctor. The hospital was about half a kilometer. I could not walk. I was about 10 years old. My mother lifted me and took me to the hospital. I wanted to get down and tried to walk but could not. Mother is mother, has all the energy to even carry a grown up son. The problem with my ankle continued for many years, when ever I had pain. My mother cured it by heating Saraswathi Akulu over the pan with some oil and tying it at the place with a cloth. Also took me several times to Shalibanda Katla Dawakana near Charminar. It is a traditional hospital of a muslim family. The whole family was in the service of treating the broken or sprained parts. They did massage with oil and tied with bandage. It worked very well for many people.
One day myself along with a friend, were catching crabs by putting our fingers in the crab holes. My mother saw me doing that and immediately called me home and started beating me. Saying that if there are any snakes in the hole, what would happen. I learnt never to go blindly to explore unknown things. Then, she told me incident that in my mothers village, some children were playing with a ball. The ball fell into the hole of snake hill. One kid pushed his hand into hit to take the ball. A snake living in the hole had bitten him. Not realising and afraid to tell his parents the child died with in few hours.
In our house there was at least one biomass stove in the compound always. My mother preferred cooking on the biomass stoves. The stoves were simple, mostly made with three stones or bricks. Since childhood, and in all the seasons, we always had bath with warm water. We were buying cow dung cakes from Lachaiah, they had about 20 buffalos. They make dung cakes by hitting the balls of dung on the walls or on the ground with rice husk or dry paddy straw. Sometimes we were buying the dry wood from the Kattela Mandi (wood selling shop) near Girnikada (near floor mill). Especially in the winters, we always preferred to sit near the biomass stove while my mother made rotis, rice and vegetables on these stoves. The taste of the food cooked on these stoves is the best as compared to the food cooked on Kerosene or LPG stoves.
She shared her childhood memories such as how she used to go with her Peddamma to see relatives in other villages riding a horse or in a small bullock cart (Buggi). There is a Esi River (called Pedda Vagu) which flows close to Regadi Mamidipally Village. It is the tributary of Musi River. They had a land on the other side of the river. Once while returning with her elder borther, due to heavy rain in the upper reach, it just started flooding. Her brother took her on shoulders and swam across the river back to the village. She also shared how difficult her life after marriage at a young age in the joint family living with in-laws. Getting up early to make the flour for Jowar rotis. Going to the field for work.