My childhood was spent in government quarters as my father was an engineer in Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd and he used to get posted to places where there was a need to build power houses in hydro electric power projects. So he had postings in various places within Karnataka and each posting used to be for about four years minimum, not like army postings- packing every two years, sometimes even before that. Most of the places used to be small and we lived in our own small colonies and in spacious quarters with huge space all around the house.
After my marriage I once again got the opportunity to live in colonies and government quarters- houses for Defence services maintained(?) by MES. People who live in quarters keep cribbing all the time about this and that. It’s obvious because frankly speaking, these quarters belong to nobody. So the maintenance part leaves a lot to be desired. Every now and then we have people coming in and going out of the house- plumbers, electricians etc because somewhere a flush is not working or a switch not functional or may be, the most common thing in all government quarters, seepage. The residents of the house keep changing every two-three years and everybody who lives there does his bit to sort out the problems to the best of his ability and tries to improve the look of the house and the garden. But given the fact that the work has to be done by the MES one can understand what’ll be the outcome of all the trouble. But still, people try to keep it as good as possible. That aside, living in government houses is fun because the houses are spacious and some places have huge bungalows as quarters. The area around the house would be so much you can get your children married there. Whoever occupies the house tries to add his own touch to make the house and garden better than how he got it. As a result the house becomes a comfortable place and the garden, marvelous. Our own house that we are living in, from past two years, has huge space all around the house and there are a lot of trees like mango, tamarind, Indian goose berry (amla), guava, custard apple, jamun and ber, drumsticks, jackfruit, papaya apart from ashoka, peepal, neem and night queen and many others whose name I’m not aware of. If we want to buy a house of this size in civil with such a huge garden, I think it would cost us in crores ! Owing to the existence of so many trees a lot of variety of birds like sparrows, mynas, cuckoos, parrots, owls and others are seen flying around. Add to it the squirrels, butterflies, monkeys and snakes! Though the presence of snakes is terrifying, rest of the creatures are lovely, cute and funny. There’s so much of cuteness in the way a squirrel eats holding something in it’s (both) hands. A big salute to the intelligence of monkeys who know exactly when are the vegetables and fruits available and where. If one thinks of plucking the vegetables or fruits a day later, one may not get to eat it because the monkeys would somehow know and arrive at the right time. They eat some and throw some and you have to just watch them doing all these things because you can’t go near them 🙂 I for one, never feel bad if the monkeys empty my garden because I don’t know why but I really love their mischievous behaviour. It’s so amusing to see them swinging on the tree branches, hopping from one tree to the other or the way they cuddle their babies n pick lice from their heads 🙂 They are the most bindas and mast-maula living things that I have ever seen, totally carefree. After years of staying in such quarters, in beautiful surroundings with so much of greenery around, I wonder how would it be to live in an apartment in what we call the concrete jungle. As husband’s retirement is hardly a year and three months away, I’m actually dreading the life after and I’ve no doubt that I’m going to miss all this beauty around me, but then do I have a choice? 🙂