could boast of a substantial number of citizens
who used to venture out to foreign lands to seek
fortunes and earn their livelihood. They were
popularly known as Sindhworkies and within them
Shikarpuris were quite a few in number as compared
to other Sindhis. Those who made it abroad used
to bring back their fortune and settle down into
a life of retirement. In retirement some chose
to take the path of religion for peace and solace
while on the other hand there were some who chose
the path of making merry by indulging in activities
like drinking and spending time in dance programmes.
Such programmes were a status
symbol and mostly held among the rich class.
Huge farmhouses with palatial gardens used to
be ideal venues. Whole gardens were adorned
with choice sofas and carpets in a circle, the
air used to be engulfed with the intoxicating
fragrances of roses and mogras thus creating
an ideal atmosphere for the evening. Wining
and dining formed an integral part of the programme.
With wine flowing freely, frayed nerves were
calmed and a carefree attitude cultivated for
the evening ahead.
Dancers were specially summoned
from far off places like Lahore and Lucknow,
renowned for their dansueses. These performances
were considered to the elite events where some
went to the extent of showering gold guinea
coins (costing Rs. 25/- in those days) in a
bid to show their financial prowess. These playgrounds
often formed platforms for forming relationships
and many a seth in Sind was lured by the grace
and charm of the dancers who went on to become
a keep or mistress who kept the seth entertained
in his twilight years.