The Nandydroog Club was quite simple in its architecture and design unlike the KGF Club. However, the Tennis and Badminton Courts were very well maintained and Manickam the Marker always kept the Courts in pristine condition. He spent many hours doing the markings and ensuring the whole court was swept clean.
However, as with all the well loved and fondly remembered landmarks of our younger days in KGF, The Nandydroog Club is now closed and the Tennis and Badminton Courts are unused. There is an eerie silence around the place. The thud of the Tennis Balls are heard no more and Manickam the Marker and Shankar the Bar man died a long time ago.
Our house was just opposite the Nandydroog Club and the Skating Rink. Since my dad was a member of the Nandydroog Club, we were also allowed to make use of their facilities for tennis, badminton, Billiards, Snookers, cards, caroms etc. During the school term we were busy with our school work etc so we didn’t have time to avail of these facilities. However, during the school vocations, weekends and holidays we would play badminton and squash at the club, and also attend the Housie and Bingo Sessions.
The Bingo and Housie Sessions at the Nandydroog Club were such fun. Each of us would get our own Bingo cards which were priced at Two Rupees a card. One of the members would call out the Bingo Numbers and we had to be very quiet and attentive as the numbers were being called out so as to strike out those numbers on our cards.
I still remember the rhyming words used while calling out the numbers – Kelly’s Eye No 1, What Babies do No 2, All by itself No 3, Knock on the door No 4, Punjab Mail No 5, Pick up sticks No 6, lucky No 7, One fat major No 8, Doctors Orders No 9, Downing Street No 10, and so on. It was quite exciting waiting to win. The prizes were for each line, Full house, Jaldhi Five or Quick Five, Bamboo, Kings corner, Queen’s corner and the Jackpot. The Prizes were small gifts or small amounts of cash.
The Club also organized functions on Independence Day and Republic Day. There would be a Flag Hoisting function followed by a cultural programme and light refreshments. We would attend these functions and also take active part in the cultural programmes. On Republic day a Sports programme for the children was always held, and we won many prizes in various events.
The Billiards and Snooker Tables were the constantly in use by the members. Whist Drives, card Sessions and Ladies Meets were also regularly organized. The Bar was well stocked with the choicest foreign and Indian Liquors, Beers, and Soft Drinks. The club boys were kept on their toes by Shankar the Barman who was a strict disciplinarian.
The Nandydroog Club Canteen sold mouth watering snacks like fried groundnuts, fried green peas, chips, fries, sandwiches etc, It also stocked Jams, Cheese, Sandwich spreads, tinned fish, Cream Crackers, Biscuits, etc., and soft drinks like lemonade, ginger beer and orangeade.
These soft drinks were specially made in the Soda factory owned by the mines. The Ginger Beer, Lemonade and Pittalo were delicious. The Soda factory was situated beside the Rescue station and the Swimming Bath just behind our house. It was very easy to order and buy crates of these soft drinks if there was a party at home. Sadly the Soda factory too was shut when the mines closed down.
The Nandydroog Club is now closed and the Tennis and Badminton Courts are unused. There is an eerie silence around the place. The thud of the Tennis Balls are heard no more and Manickam the Marker and Shankar the Bar man died a long time ago.