Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kuluf

They put big metal padlocks on the unanimous wooden door fitted in the outer mud wall to their mud-bricked house whose beams were composed of parts of dead old trees, deodars, god-trees that fooled themselves into believing that they were still alive, a believe that this particular timber would hold for a hundred years, a belief that would make it bleed resin year after year. This simple act of theirs now seems so disturbingly ludicrous.

My grandfather got these two big padlocks thanks to his government job. Originally the locks were meant to be used for some governmental store, and as government departments tend to be a bit lenient in these matters, somehow the office ended up buying some extra locks which were dutifully and equally distributed among the employees of the department. That's how he got indentical two brass 'Hitler' padlocks. The two locks served him well for many years even if they were never fully utilized to their big potential as the main door to the house was never required to be locked - it was always open. So these two padlocks were mostly used as room locks. Then one morning of they were put to a proper use. That morning one of these two locks was used to chain the main door and the other was put on the latch of the heaviest trunk. One of them reached Jammu and the other was never heard from again. The one now in Jammu is every night stays put on an Iron door to the cement and mortar house built  in frames of iron.

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Update: Remembered, there are places in Maharashtra, around Kohlapur, where people call lock a Kuluf. A bit learnt from an old Kohlapuri woman in Nagpur. 

2 comments:

  1. Bar byoth Shahmaar laet te aas milvith, oru ayes kyenklat, nyum gilvith= kulf te kunz

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  2. Yeah I too remember being surprised when I was in a market and talking with my friend in kashmiri at Osmanabad (maharashtra), when i mentioned the word 'Kuluf' the shopkeeper instantly handed me one....when I enquired I was told that locals also called it 'Kuluf'...this was in 1996...

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