Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Taking yesterday's narrative further, Angithee, the perennial mainstay of Simlaites required sufficient quantity of coal stored and kept handy. A regular purchase and delivery of coal at home was ensured to avoid inconvenience of any kind. One had to be more cautious during winters as we used to have heavy snowfall those days. Two Khan brothers namely Moideen and Sultan regularly used to bring coal to us from Best Coal Company opposite Victory Tunnel. Sometimes Moideen in anticipation of snowfall would bring coal on his own volition and payment for the same would be made later.Such was the trust people had in one another and not without reason.
Only once we were caught unawares in winter due to a sudden heavy snowfall. Even then the two brothers making their way through three feet of snow got us two maunds of coal. I remember my mother serving them hot Parathas and tea while making them sit around the Angithee. God bless their souls !
Once coal had reached it had to broken into small pieces and put in a box. We as children used to lend a helping hand by carrying the broken pieces in a Tasla a number of times to put them in a huge wooden box kept for the purpose. The coal powder that came along was called 'keri' .It was mixed with clay and made into balls which were left to dry. That would supplement the coal as fuel.
Once in my teens, I remember breaking the coal many a time with a small hammer.
Manual labour was involved in all big and small activities . There was no need for gym etc as lot of exercise got done doing work manually... ..

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