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Monsoon Memories

This morning as I sped towards Mcity, I was assailed by memories of my ancestral home bordering the model school in Thycaud- Trivandrum. One thought led to another and soon it was like the rains during monsoons; A steady and fine down pour of memories.

I am taken back to one of my earliest memories of that house. A two storied structure whose entrance does not face the road!! Rather I should say, the backside of the house faces the raod. Yes of course there is a chocolate colored gate which opens to the road, but one has to walk straight through the downward slope where my thatha’s ambassador card would be parked and then turn right to climb a set of stone colored steps to enter the house.So you see this house was unique and queer but we adored it all the same.

The sprawling front yard (one of its kind) was a place where dinks and I would show off our kiddish artistic talent with kola mavu and play with tiny little(baby) coconuts freshly fallen from the trees...I don't think I ever enjoyed playing more anywhere else.Chennai is a lovely city and my home, but alas it is sadly lacking in similar areas to explore and play.Though most of the greenery surrounding the house have good memories linked to them, the sapota tree at the entrance, a roosting spot for all the bats in that area, always sent a shiver down my spine, especially at night and all elders in the family used that without any scruples, to scare us when we were just plain difficult to handle!

The rooms on the groundfloor of the house had nothing much to offer but the rooms on the first floor...well they were any kids dream come true...One could find multitude of ways to hide and play “pretend” there. The antique wooden table, rusty old chairs albeit with cobwebs, creaky cupboards not opened for ages filled with cardboard boxes of old dupptas, sarees, trinkets, golu saman....sigh. I miss all that explorations followed by trying on all my findings on myself and driving amma half crazy. ..

Nowadays when nostalgia comes knocking, memories of days gone by come tumbling, I have no great accumulation of “this and that” to look at, to touch and to feel. At times like this I firmly resolve to never throw away stuff, but then always do in a feisty cleaning spree! Though most times I appreciate the benefits of living in apartments (keeping it clean, cozy feel, lesser hazels), I sometimes miss single stand alone houses complete with a front, back and court yard. Though metal furniture and low level divans complete with cushions of different shapes have dominated my fantasies, the old reclining chair and heavy teak furniture sometimes tugs at my heart like the strings of a forgotten melody. I believe I can understand why some pieces of furniture get passed down the generations. I know someday I will stake my claim on the almera which graces dinks room today. It’s beautiful and rusty. Perfect in every way. Something I will love to cherish and pass down.

And Oh! Yes, I miss the clangor of school bell which used to make me rush to the window facing the school, to watch all the annas come out screaming and shouting.Some would then get down to playing cricket and I would simply sit and stare at the ball flying all over the place until someone pulled me away from that spot which was considered "dangerous" because many times the ball would hit the glass window and land inside the house! This was the only window which provided some ventilation and light to the cozy dinning room which has often been called gloomy by me and others when not in this sort of (senti?) mood! We have all cursed the miserable architecture of the house and yet reveled in the opportunities it provided. As is the way of things, we miss and lament now the sad fate that made my grandparents do away with the place when they moved to Chennai. I wonder what has happened to that house which was once a home to all of us…

Some day when I grace that part of the world again, I will walk down the quite road which also turns spooky in late evenings (when the school is closed) and take a peep into the place that was home for so many generations and shared all their laughter and tears. ..

I can almost see a nice family living there and making some memories of their own. Maybe they will call me in for coffee and I will sip away hot coffee, in the foyer ,watching the down pour of rain, silently reminiscing the day’s bygone and lost in some ways…

4 comments:

Neeti said...

As I was too little back then to remember all this, I rediscovered all these forgotten memories through your post. I remembered most of the details you had mentioned, although I thought I dint remember our trivandrum time atall!
Do you remember also when we used to sit on that teak diwan and tie little brass mutkas on strings and hang them from the window (to fetch water fromt the well) and giving bath to blacky, who used to hate the soap in his eyes?

Trusty said...

hey ! that was one heck of a blog... yep childhood days in our native or any place diff from chennai is always as fresh as a morning dew.. which remains ...and this nostalgic thoughs .. are amazing.. it makes us miss those days..makes us smile and cry at the same time...

great blog.. reminds me of my childhood in my colony in ranipet... i loved those days...

Mukund said...

lovely post! brings back similar memories for me too!

Caffeinism said...

@dusty- yup I rem those brass clored matkas and ofcourse blacky!! don't know why I missed him out!!

@ arthi- yup! and u should tell me sometime abt those ranipet days;-)

@Vakil- :-D

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