“Curious little me, I jumped off the bed, climbed the stairs and started peeping through the tallest window of our house to get a glimpse of the ‘Namak Walas’ (salt vendors) blowing the truck horn.”
It was one of those boring summer days and I had nothing to do except to lay on the bed and gaze at the window, like I usually did when dad was at home. Suddenly I heard a strange loud sound.
Curious little me, I jumped off the bed, climbed the stairs and started peeping through the tallest window of our house to get a glimpse of the ‘Namak Walas’ (salt vendors) blowing the truck horn.
To my surprise, it wasn’t the truck but the blowing of the conch shell that created the loud sound.
At the other end of the conch shell was a 70-odd-year old ‘Vaasudev’ wearing safrons, white kurti and a conical headgear blowing the conch shell in full force.
Hiding cracked heels beneath this glorious attire was not an easy task, but he did it with grace.
Not sure how many miles he walked hungry and barefooted, but he still managed to pull off a decent show.
Vasudev alaa ho Vaasudev alaa
I still remember his melodious humming from a popular Marathi folk song – “Vaasudev alaa ho Vaasudev alaa…”
I was delighted every time he came home. Sometimes he had kids with him. Buwa said they were all messengers of Lord Vaasudeva-father of Lord Krishna. (I have also found references of ‘Vasudev’ being a community of Krishna worshippers)
And Then We Met Again…
It was almost after 10 years I met him again. This time in Pune, 400 kms away from my hometown.
Puberty had hit me, but he seemed unchanged.
“Thank you for helping me relive those golden days and for keeping alive this wonderful tradition”- He was long gone before I could say this.
I was searching for him in the crowd for a long time....
P.S. Vasudev is not a single entity, its the entire community of wonderful entertainers trying to keep alive the iconic tradition of street singers in Goa and Maharashtra.
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