YaadeN: Gupta Cha and Family

Posted on October 26, 2008
Filed Under >Zakintosh, History, People, Society
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Continued from Part 1, here.

When you have had the benefit of a 25-year stint at sea (1959-1984), there is bound to be much that is narratable and shareable, with some of it even of interest to a few people outside your immediate family.

But this post is, primarily, about Gupta Cha (and his family) – so I shall make only brief references to the other parts which will be covered in greater detail in “Ships and Shoes and Sealing Wax” (if that “book+” ever gets completed).

However, as indicated at the end of my previous post, the real conclusion to the tale – which took place last year – will make up the second half of this post. The first will be spent breezing through the intervening years.

Ok, so it’s 1947, the last day of September.

Abi has finally received permission to extend his leave and proceed with the family to Karachi. We are to set sail on the S.S. DUMRA (of the British India Steam Navigation Co.) and are standing on a pier. There’s a mad rush wherever one casts an eye. If I had known of the concept then, I would probably have thought of Maedaané Hashr. The sounds of bawling from families being separated can be heard mingling with the shrill laughter of children running everywhere, excited by the journey.

The 5 of us soon board the ship, bidding goodbye to Gupta Cha and to Badshah Chacha, who has traveled from South India to see us off. Standing with them is a close friend of my father, the amazing Dr. Baliga (one of my ‘ideals’ when I was a teenager), who was once invited to Pakistan to treat our Governor General, Ghulam Mohammad.

A couple of Sikh hockey players from the Bombay Sea Customs, ‘fans’ of Abbu Jan, have arrived to say goodbye to their Hockey Hero, but now seem more interested in Chacha Jania (Talat Mahmood) whom they have cornered. As usual, he is too shy and polite to get away from them, though he wants to join us for parting hugs. The very moment that we start up the gangway, he runs towards us and the Sikhs shout out to all, “Yeh Talat Mahmood bhaaga jaa rahaa hae Pakistan. Roko. Roko.” The laughs lighten the sad moment.

We are shown to a cabin which, though meant for 2+1, is spacious enough and the bistarband comes in handy. Soon, the ship’s ropes are cast off and we move gently away from the pier. The air is suddenly filled with wave after wave of loud roars of Pakistan Zindabad and Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad. One can feel not just the passion but the freedom in those naaraas, suppressed at the pier where everyone realized that such slogans could incite riots.

Once Bombay harbour begins to fade out of sight, Abi contacts the officer who is doing the rounds to inform him that he is a doctor and available for any emergency help that the ship’s team might need. An hour or so later, he is called up by the captain and, with two other doctors and a couple of nurses also travelling as passengers. They are introduced to the Ship’s Medical Officer and agree to do frequent rounds and assist with any passengers needing help.

At some late hour we are woken up by Abi to meet – and accommodate, if possible – a couple trying to find a comfortable place to rest. He has found them on his very first round. The bearded husband is none other than poet Bahzaad Lakhnavi. Some of you may be familiar with Begum Akhtar’s rendition of his “Deevaana Banaana Hae To …”

Once a rangeen shaaer, Bahzaad Chacha later turned into a very prolific naat go, and now lies buried in Karachi with signs on the graveyard proclaiming his ishqé rasool. His unique tarannum was extremely popular with müshaerah audiences. The next 3 days of the journey are spent with him and Abi reciting ghazals to each other with a slowly increasing ‘fan club’ blocking the passageways.

The day before arrival in Karachi is my 7th birthday. Bahzaad Chacha gives me a shayr as gift. The original, in his hand, has long been lost … but I still remember the words:

Tüm ko tohfay mayñ aur kyaa dayñ ham?
Lo nayaa mülk … Iss mayñ phoolo phalo!

Abbu Jan gets a small temporary house somewhere near Jackson Bazaar in Keamari and, later, moves into the large Customs Flats nearby. We live with them for a few weeks while Abi – almost penniless – does the rounds in Karachi in the hope of finding a suitable job in some hospital. He does not wish to re-join the Army and has applied for release.

One day, quite by chance, Abi bumps into Swami Ji (as we always addressed him). He recognizes Abi as one of his fellow students at medical college. Abi learns that Swami Ji and two other colleagues run a charitable hospital – with free treatment for Hindus – under the Ramakrishna Mission.

They are on the verge of leaving for India, after handing over the place to GoP (as evacuee property, I guess). The stock of medicines, good for about a year, is to be thrown out since transferring them to other hospitals is considered a major task of logistics and accounting.

Abi is apalled. He says he would like to continue running the hospital, without charging the Mission, until all the medicines run out. He promises to keep it free for Hindus if the Mission agrees that the free treatment could also be extended to Muslim refugees who cannot afford to pay. They agree, but there is the Government to convince. Abi’s old Aligarian friend, Mr A. T. Naqvi, now the Commissioner of Karachi, arranges for this to be formalized and, suddenly, Abi has a job which, though it carries no salary, comes – to our delightful surprise – with a small 2 room apartment on Nazareth Road (half-way between Guru Mandir and Soldier’s Bazaar). We live next to the larger apartment occupied by Swami Ji and his colleagues. I am in and out of their house all day, devouring all the Idlees and Dossas and Rasm they can feed me – which explains my desire to dart off to the South Indian Sagar restaurant the moment I get to Dilli. (If you ever go there, be sure to try their almost-3-foot-long Paper Dossa.)

Fast forward: The Nazareth Road house is purchased the following year by a Nawab Hasan Yar Jang (nephew of the colourful Nizam of Hyderabad) and Swami Ji manages to have it written into the agreement that as long as Abi is alive he can continue to stay in that apartment, paying rent – of course. The Swamis leave in a few months. Nawab Sahab – always very civil when we encounter him in the building – shifts in with his ‘lingerers on’. He gives me my favourite mithai – genuine Baadaam Ki Lauz – whenever he receives a package of it from Hyderabad. I even get to go with him and (What a treat!) sit in the Royal Stall to attend the Platinum Jubilee of Aga Khan III (grandfather of the present one), a ceremony Nawab Sahab is attending on behalf of the Nizam.

But Nawab Sahab is a stickler for words. The contract says that my father can occupy the house as long as he lives.

On 18th September 1963 my ship happens to arrive in Karachi. On the 19th my father dies. (Abbu Jan and Ammi Jan are getting a house built in Iqbal Town and are temporarily staying with us, which offers Ummi and me a bit of solace, since we have all been very close, always.) The Nawab attends the funeral, comes into the house to condole with my mother, and informs me on his way out that we have to vacate the house in 48 hours! Which is what I try to do, but it takes a bit longer and needs the good offices of neighbour, ex-Mayor Khan Bahadur Gabol Sahab, to convince the Nawab. I sail away two days after our hurried shifting. This trip to Karachi has been a life-changing experience for someone only 23 years old.

Rewind. Gupta Cha is in touch by mail and we receive a picture of him and Chachi soon after their wedding in 1949 or 1950. This exchange continues, off and on. When Abi dies, Ummi receives a very warm letter from them, asking “Bhabiji” to stay with them in Dilli for a while. But the trip never materializes. We couldn’t afford it. Then, for some reason – possibly mail going astray after the 1965 war – we all lose touch.

For years I search for him … but can recall neither his rank nor anything else. Whenever my ship is at an Indian port, I try to think up ways to find Gupta Cha. Trying to find a ‘Gupta’ in the Indian army, I am told, is just short of tracing the right ‘Khan’ in Afghanistan.

Zoom ahead to 1983: I am in command of a ship operated by the Gokals out of Hong Kong. The officers and crew of these ships are multinational and on my ship the Chief Engineer, Vipin Kaura, is from India. Vipin’s father – a retired Army officer – comes from Dilli to visit our ship and stays there for a few days.

Soon after ‘Uncle Kaura’ arrives, I decide to go wish him. I plan to remember to say Aadaab in the old tradition but my Pakistani Radio Officer – a Lahori – tells me that that was not as common a greeting in Punjab as in Delhi and the U.P., so maybe I should say Namsté to be polite. I walk in and say that, a bit awkwardly, failing badly at the hand coordination for the accompanying gesture. Uncle Kaura – originally from Rawalpindi – says. “Aray … hum to soach rahay thay keh bohat din baad Salaam Alaeküm sünnay ko milay ga …” and soon the talk turns to his homesickness and losing touch with old friends. He regrets forgetting to write Urdu well.

During the stay I recount ‘our’ partition story and he asks me if there is anything I can recall about Gupta Cha that could help trace him. Apart from his first name, Birjesh, I usually can’t recall anything. But from some hidden corner of my mind, that day, I bring forth two facts that I’d never consciously recalled earlier. Someone in Gupta Cha’s family – possibly his father? – was a Judge. And they lived in a house called Bürj Mahal in Meerut. Before he leaves the ship and heads home, Uncle Kaura says he will ask some old colleagues about Gupta Cha but doubts if anything will come of it.

Five days later, I am standing at the Shipping Agency office when I am handed an envelope posted from Delhi, addressed to me. I open it and discover a letter in Urdu in a shaky hand. It starts “Pyaaray Baytay …“.

How sweet of Uncle Kaura,” I think to myself, “to try and write in Urdu after all these years.” But the next para that I read (writing this I am still feeling the same sensation as I did then) is something I cannot believe. I jump ahead and look at the bottom of the next page. YESSSSS! It says “Tümhaara Gupta Cha“.

It takes me an interminable amount of time to absorb this. A clerk comes up and asks if I am OK. I have tears streaming down my cheeks and can barely speak as I read about Gupta Cha thinking each year of me on my birthday, admittedly not difficult to remember in India (It’s Gandhi Ji’s, too!). I read and re-read the letter. He wants me to fly out to Delhi. Of course I cannot (not just because of the visa but because we sail out in 2 days).

It turns out that Uncle Kaura, immediately on his return to Delhi, took a bus to Meerut and spent the day searching for Bürj Mahal. Unsuccesful at his attempt, he stopped at a shop in a multistory building to have a cold drink before taking the bus back. The shopkeeper and he got into a conversation and he mentioned his search for Bürj Mahal. “This very building is where it used to be,” said the shopkeeper, “and the old owners live right on top, I think.” So up climbed Uncle Kaura and met Gupta Cha’s sister-in-law and told her the tale. She recalled our family and informed Uncle Kaura that Gupta Cha lived in Delhi! Defence Colony!! One lane behind Uncle Kaura’s house!!! (Yes, Woody Allen. Life does imitate bad television!) So it is to Uncle Kaura that I owe more than I had realized.

After I regain control of my senses (and I am not dramatizing this … it did take a while, as 36 years and all that’s happened in that period ran through my mind) I immediately decide to phone him. And Ummi. Getting connected to Karachi, oddly, happens very quickly but I just manage to tell her that I’ve found Gupta Cha when, even more quickly, the line drops and we cannot get through again. Getting through to Delhi is a ‘trunk call’ – as calls between cities were then known – and requires a ‘booking’. “It’s about a 3-4 hour wait,” says the operator. The manager of the agency, who, like everyone else in that room, has heard bits of my story by then, takes the phone from me and says something in Marathi, and then translates it for me. “Maeñ saalay ko bola ‘Yeh jaldi type ka call hae! Death and Illness Emergency’. Abhee das minat mayñ mil jaae ga.”

Of course I can’t recall the conversation with Gupta Cha. Too full of both of us trying to fill the other in about everyone and everything. Sobs. Laughter. He tells me he has two children. The son, nicknamed ‘T2′ is in the army. His daughter, Nanu, is married to Sunil who is in the Navy and is posted in Bombay. I am excited. “Can I see her?” Gupta Cha gives me the address of her house in the Naval Colony and, still reeling from all this, I am put on a rickshaw by the friendly clerk who first tells the driver my story and then instructs him to wait wherever I am going and bring me back later and collect the money from the office as part of the celebrations for my joy. Awwwww.

So off I go. Kinda stupidly quick response, if I’d just thought a bit. I can’t even get into the Naval Colony in my own city without some identity papers. And, as a Ship Captain from Pakistan, I should not even be near an Indian Navy area. But who was thinking? In retrospect, I often shudder. Had I been arrested and charged with a Pak spy masquerading as an Indian, I’d still be in jail there, if alive. But I was not pretending about anything. I was excited and that’s all that must have shown on my face. No nervousness at all. Just a stupid pasted smile of the kind that airline staff bear. The clothes, too, helped. I was in a white khaddar kurta pyjama – my usual dress code for the evenings – a common sight in Bombay, anyway. The chatty rickshaw vaala, who informed me that he was a Muslim and had relatives in Karachi, spoke to the guard when he asked where we were headed. “Aray chhoRo yaar … 30 saal baad behen say milnay jaa rahaa hae sahab!” And we were in.

Later, I have laughed often at the thought that the Indian Naval Security services are at the same level as ours – recalling that in the 60s, when we docked in Karachi with ammunition that our ship had brought in from Iran, the whole port area was under security and passes were required to board the craft. Not even our own officers could step onto the quay and board the ship again without passes. Sitting in my room, I nearly leapt out of my chair as I saw an old friend from India walk in. “How the eff did you get on board? It’s bloody tight security!” … Bhagwan Das winked and said, “Full Paanch rupyah diya gate vaalay ko, yaar!”

The meeting with Sunil and Nanu was great. It was like being at home with people I’d always known. No takallüf. They already knew of me. Their elder daughter, Ayeshah, (named by Gupta Cha) fell asleep soon but I did get to carry around the new addition, 4-month old Amrita, after eating a lovely home-cooked meal, so that Nanu could eat in peace. I wish the ship would have stayed longer so I’d have got to spend more time with them.

For a year or so Nanu and I managed to stay in occasional contact, but Sunil was then posted to Vishikhapatnam, I think, and none my letters ever reached them, so we lost touch. Gupta Cha and I wrote to each other often and I phoned him from several ports – Hong Kong, Singapore, from wherever I could dial direct. He and Ummi, too, exchanged a few letters (in Urdu!). He was insistent that I hop across the border and stay with him for a few days. “I have a room reserved for you”, he’d always tell me. But visas were an impossibility for me then.

I returned to Karachi in late March 1986 and Ummi told me that Gupta Cha had passed away just a couple of days earlier. Fate’s cruel joke… to have found him after years and never met him! I spoke to Chachi on the phone. There was less to say except in silence.

Some time later, I received a call from “T2″, whom I had not been in any kind of contact with. His addressing me as “Bhaisaahab” seemed so strange.

He told me they were letting go of the house and he was taking Chachi along to wherever he was posted then. Chachi came on the line – and in one of the most touching moments for me in this strange saga – asked me if it would be possible, before they left the house, to come and stay a day or two in the room that Gupta Cha had earmarked for me. I tried but I could not get the NOC needed for a visa. (Although I had left the sea – swallowing the anchor soon after Ragni’s birth and Ummi’s accident that confined her to a wheelchair – and started a company of my own, my passport still showed Merchant Seaman as my profession, so our Ministry had to issue NOCs.)

I never managed to contact T2 and Nanu again. Uncle Kaura, too, passed away before I could find out the address from where, maybe, I could get a forwarding address they’d left behind. On my next trip to Delhi I told Vipin about trying to find T2 and, together, we called up several Guptas, none of whom could help. I discussed with Tarun (of Tehelka) the possibility of an ad in his paper looking for these people but we never got around to it.

Fast Forward, again. It’s late 2007. I am sitting at T2F in Karachi and get a call from a Pakistani Merchant Ship Captain, some years junior to me. We don’t really know each other. He is writing a book about our Merchant Navy and wants any photos that I may have which could be used. Then he says, “I was in Bombay last week at a meeting and there was someone who wanted to get in touch with you. I promised to trace your numbers and send them to him.” I imagine it’s one of my many Indian fellow seafarers from the NOL (Singapore) or GESL (Hong Kong) days. But it turns out that it’s someone from the Indian Navy.

“SUNIL?” I almost shout the question. “Yes.” It’s just too crazy! I get Sunil’s number and call him up. Later, I speak with Nanu. I learn that Chachi is no more. None of us ever got to meet her :-( Then I get a Delhi number and call T2, whom I’d searched for as a Major? Colonel? Something Gupta. In all the years I was in contact with the Gupta family, no one had ever mentioned T2′s full name! Turns out he is Pradeep Kumar. Chalo. And he’s been living in Delhi for a few years (during many of which I’ve been visiting the place often, even for long periods).

Much as I wanted to, I could not attend T2′s son (and my fellow Merchant Navy Officer) Abhimanyu’s wedding in Jaipur, where Ashmita’s family live.

Just a few days earlier that city had suffered from bomb blasts (obviously, the blame was laid at our doorstep, as is customary) so getting a visa to that city was out of the question.

Things are getting better.

T2 met Ragni in Dhaka during a business trip. I met him and his wife, Ruby, when I stopped over in Delhi en route to Kolkota for a meeting. Sunil flew over from Mumbai and we had dinner together. Nanu, I hope, will be able to come to Delhi the next time I am there (hopefully in the last week of this month). And I am dying to see the kids all grown up.

If ever there could be a suitable postscript to all this, it’s this email I received just a while ago.


Originally published at Zakintosh’s blog, Windmills of my Mind.

19 Comments on “YaadeN: Gupta Cha and Family”

  1. Azmatullah Jan says:
    October 26th, 2008 5:29 pm

    What a beautiful story, beautifully told.

  2. Nihari says:
    October 26th, 2008 7:26 pm

    Bhaijaan…kaha tha na…itni meethi yadein bakheer di hein aap nay….kay yeh kameeni dunya thoori si roshan ho gaye hai

  3. Adnan Ahmad says:
    October 26th, 2008 9:17 pm

    “aadmi kaa yaad kaa langar bhi kia ajeeb manzar hey”

    Nadaar Loag (Abdullah Hussain)

    By the way, the word langar (anchor) goes well with this narrative. What a fine piece of writing. My heart did take a pause reading “pyare baitey”.

    ajeeb loag they wo. ajeeb nasl thee wo.

    This evening, may be after a long while, I had a craving for paan. Found out about the nearest shop and drove about 18 miles to have a well made paan. The girl at the counter while making paans happily inquired if I was from the North to which I laughed and said I am actually from Karachi. Her smile went away. I asked where in India she was from and she responded Ahmedabad. There was this uncomfortable silence afterwards. I quietly took my paans and left thinking about the first piece you wrote and much more. If people like Gupta Cha and your father ever became a majority the world might be a different place.

    afsurdageeyai sokhta jaanaa’n, hey qeher Meer
    Daaman ko tuk hilaa kur diloan kee bhujee hey aag

  4. Owais Mughal says:
    October 26th, 2008 10:30 pm

    Zakintosh sb. I read every word of the two-part write up many times. You are like Forrest Gump of our times crossing paths with so many famous people in your life.

    Great to read about ‘Behzad Lakhnavi’ in your recalls. My favourite of his works is ‘ae jazba-e-dil gar mein chahooN..’ sung by Nayyara Noor. I remember seeing an old black and white clip on PTV, which was an interview of Behzad Lakhnavi. What a pure ‘ahl-e-zubaan’ Urdu he spoke. The interview was taken on a hospital bed and Behzad Lakhnavi had a human bone in his neck as a ‘haar’. I asked my parents what was that all about and they said Behzad was doing some ‘totka ilaaj’ during his last days. Did you remain in contact with Behzad after coming to Pakistan?

    Nazareth Road….I have great memories from here too. First of all I went to Adamjee College for intermediate which is just a street away from Nazareth. Some of my very good friends lived on Nazareth Road so your stories seemed too close to home.

    I was happily surprised to learn that the poem with ‘ch-ch’ qaafia in Shafiq-ur-Rehman’s book ‘lehren’ was by your father. To date that poem remains one of my favourites and it makes me laugh whenever I read it. What else do you recall about Shafiq-ur-Rehman?

  5. M.L. says:
    October 27th, 2008 12:29 am

    I read and enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you to Mr. Zakintosh for writing this and to Pakistaniat.com for carrying this series. I do hope there will be more installments too.

    I have been wondering WHY I an others enjoy reading this so much. I don’t know these people so I have no affinity to the details. In fact, there are too many names there and it even becomes confusion. So, why are we so much attracted to this (and I really am). I think a few reasons:

    1. It is well written. So, note to all write well!
    2. It reminds us of a simpler time. Or what seems to be a simple time. It makes us think that maybe the chaos and confusion we see around us now is new and things used to be simpler. Of course, things were never simpler. The chaos of partition could not have been less traumatic than whatever we have now.
    3. I think, and at least for me, the magic of these stories is not just the stories but the fact that they trigger our own stories in our own mind. They give us the excuse to think back at our own nostalgia and our own memories. And that is a great feeling.

    Again, thank you for this post.

  6. ASAD says:
    October 27th, 2008 12:36 am


    This was not my generation but the stories are so similar in feeling to what I grew up hearing.

    By the way, I remember so many people we knew from your generation who were in the Merchant Navy. I guess it was the cool thing to do. But I don’t know a single person in my friends and age group who is in the merchant Navy. I wonder why not. Seems like it would still be a cool thing to do.

  7. Janeeta says:
    October 27th, 2008 2:28 am

    Beautiful memories sir, i read your posts several times and every time i loved them even more .. i do not belong to the generation you are talking about but learning about those times has always been a passion to me and for that i always remain thankful tu my nani who just love to tell us about her pre-partition days. Thank you so much for sharing with us those wonderful times and hats off to the ATP team for putting this up. May Allah bless you sir, Ameen

  8. Adeel J says:
    October 27th, 2008 5:11 am

    @Owais mughal,
    great analogy, Forrest Gump of our time :)

    very well written post Zakintosh.

  9. Humaira Naseem says:
    October 27th, 2008 9:58 am

    Am impressed by your perseverence and desire to keep in touch. I don’t think that is common.

  10. Qaiser says:
    October 28th, 2008 2:24 am

    Interesting that people are now down to the third generation and the links seem to be maintained. That does seem unusual since one would expect these memories would fail.

  11. Osman says:
    October 28th, 2008 9:56 am

    Nice writeup.

    Karachi itself has changed and grown so much in these years that it is a totally new city now

  12. Olde_tyme_karachiite says:
    October 28th, 2008 9:42 pm

    Beautifully written piece. Such old relationships are a true reflection of our culture, be it from either side of the border, irrespective of religion. OTK

  13. G.A. Durrani says:
    October 29th, 2008 8:56 am

    Good writing. Felt sad at the end because it seems story ended and there will be no next episode :-(

  14. Zakintosh says:
    October 29th, 2008 11:37 am

    Thank you, everyone, for all your kind comments. There are loads of other stories – personal histories – in every one of you that need to be shared. Not just about partitions and divides but of joyful occasions, too. And of people – not just the famous but the generally unknown.

    I request you all to write about them, share them, record your elders and podcast them … but let’s preserve these things, for they are the REAL history, not the one-size-fits-all histories that are ‘official’. Today we – and not just the rulers and the vistors – have the power to contribute to the archives of the future.

    Just as my meagre contribution seems to have found empathy among many, so will other stories – leading to the acceptance that humans are more similar than different and enmity is primarily ‘carefully taught’ (http://tinyurl.com/6r8ttq).

  15. Zakintosh says:
    October 29th, 2008 12:28 pm

    Sorry. I meant “and not just the rulers and the victors”.

    @ owais mughal

    Yes. Bahzaad Chacha and we remained in close touch for a long while and, in any case, met regularly at shaaeree ki baethaks that were held in rotation at some houses. They also didn’t live too far … but then we were forced to move out and I was at sea, so I guess Ummi could not keep in touch with them. Their son, Enver Behzad (I am told that’s how he spelt his name) was an Urdu newsreader on Radio Pakistan along with the legendary Shakeel Ahmad.

    Shafiq Chacha I met only once in Karachi after I left for the sea. That was when Asghar Gorakhpuri – now that’s a man who had a zillion tales to tell and told them brilliantly – invited him and Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi sahab to a small lunch in the hope of having a hilarious afternoon. It was the flattest, most boring meetings ever. In fact the afternoon was only saved by us heading home and having Syed Nasir Jehan tell us anecdotes about (and recite ghazals of) Aarzoo Lakhnavi. I aim to share those, too, as part of project I a working on.

  16. D_a_n says:
    October 30th, 2008 3:56 am

    excellent excellent stuff….. :)

    great writing….

    waiting eagerly for more tales…

  17. razziv says:
    November 6th, 2008 9:08 am

    superb writing.

    i am touched.

  18. Andy says:
    July 18th, 2010 7:49 pm

    Beautiful and heartfelt writeup. You made my day with this. Thank you.

  19. Watan Aziz says:
    October 25th, 2010 10:53 pm

    Those were the days my friend
    We thought they’d never end
    We’d sing and dance forever and a day
    We’d live the life we choose
    We’d fight and never lose
    For we were young and sure to have our way.
    La la la la…
    Those were the days, oh yes those were the days.

    And I am talking about ATP when it had quality postings. And now, tamashbeen!

    A vivid posting, I say.

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