There have been nostalgic posts from friends on Facebook about the harsh snowy winters in Shimla with attendant hardships and the Lion face shaped public hydrants that apart from being a dependable public utility were also a marvel of technology. This post covers both aspects.
Till beginning of August, 1964 we lived in a literally shady area above the circular road with only a little sunshine. As a result water pipes got frozen in winter posing great difficulty.
One such winter, the water pipe got frozen and water had to be brought from the lion faced public hydrant below AG office which was at a walkable distance. While my father would carry full sized two buckets in the morning and in the evening after coming from Office, we kids supplemented the effort by volunteering to carry water in small Dalda cans and milk buckets. My elder sister ventured to carry a bucket . As we were coming back after filling our containers, just at a place from where the descent starts, a tall sanyasi type gentleman ,perhaps in late fifties clad in white long kurta and dhoti , with shoulder length hair smilingly took the took the bucket from my sister and carried it up to the bifurcation to the path that lead to our residence. We could only bow in respect to him .
Compare this in with today's pontificating , sermonizing god men living in 7 star luxury .
The incident is etched deep in memory and is fresh after more than half a century .