Memoirs of a Home....

Now indulge me for a few moments n walk down this memory lane with me...

This story is set sometime in late 50s in God's own country - A grand old man who is on verge of retirement is on his annual visit to his native village. He was a official with Indian railways and so the railway quarters peppered across the county was his home for years now. But the rustic charms of his native village isnt where his heart was. He had in fact almost narrowed down on Cochin - debatably one of the most modern cities within Kerala.

So on this annual visit, he was making a courtesy call to one of the village elders. N this being the pre-industrialization era n stuff(well not tht things are v diff today), the visit entailed walking kms in the hot humid Kerala Heat! He walked n walked but soon the sun beating down was unbearable. He decided to take  a"break" at the nearest sign of civilization - a old house set amidst the Paddy fields.

The entrance gate was v unassuming - a small rickety gate. It opened up into a long narrow "driveway" shaded with a canopy made of jasmine n other flowery creepers. Past the driveway, was this grand old house which thou seemed deserted. He took a sip of water from the well at the backyard - But so exhausted was the old man, that he decided to take a moment of rest at the courtyard. N then before he knew, the cool breeze coming from the paddy fields lulled him into a pleasant siesta. Only once he woke up, was he stuck by the beauty of the house - set strategically amidst the paddy fields, with a small stream running in between n house itself was surrounded by all kinds of vegetation! "Maybe this is home" - a sound within him said!

As luck would have it, the house was up for sale n that's the house my daddy called his "home" during his childhood n many years later! The grand old man was my grandfather.

What adds charm to this house to me is the story of how this house was built - The house was maybe 30-40 years old when my grandfather bought it. So the period am talking of must be early 20th century. The interesting tidbit here is that during those days, the teak wood used for construction was supposedly transported via water streams. They would be set up afloat from upstream from where they would float down n be collected from the appropriate points downstream. Elephants would then drag them all the way to the construction sites(Imagine elephants being used for mundane activities like building a house!)

N here's just the juiciest bit of gossip to spice it up - The house was originally built by by a paramour for his mistress! Now this paramour was a high ranking official who was commissioned to build a new house for his employer. So v conveniently his mistress house sprung up overnight right next to this "new house" - no prizes for guessing where the best of the teak ended up reaching :)

I unfortunately do not have a pic of the house to share with u as it was razed down a couple of years ago :-/

PS: the desc of the house is how I remember seeing it as a ten year old. I will dedicate this post to my uncle (dad's bro) who was the one who regaled us with this story n many more ... Indeed he is a master story teller !

Linking this to A2Zchallenge. M is for Memoirs.....


30 comments:

  1. For a moment I thought you have written about me...because my blog name is "Memoirs of a homemaker!"
    Thanks for taking us down the memory lane.
    One more thing, do you use the SMS lingo as a matter of choice? Or are you posting this from a mobile phone? Just curious.

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    1. errrr i claim guilty to both :-/ but i should make a conscious attempt to stop it!

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  2. You capture pictures with your words...that was such a lovely narration. A couple of months ago, I was in Cochin for a day....I was so in awe with the city. Hopefully Kerala would beckon me in my future travels

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    1. Kerala is a a v beautiful place! I hope u get a chance to discover it....

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  3. why was it razed down !!!!! :(

    Up until then I was so so elated and lost in your description ! What a wonderful place to live in ! :D

    I'd kill for a house like that in that kind of setting !! Seriously ! and I live in a pretty small town still ! :P

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    1. All the children moved on with the life n with nobody around, the property was sold out....

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  4. What a cool story. Thanks for sharing a snippet of your family. And how exciting for a little bit of romance to be woven into its history.

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  5. wow ! That is some bit of History ! I would love to live in such an ancient house !

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    1. I wish I were living there now.. would hv appreciated it more!

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  6. What a lovely snippet of the memoir! The house sounds wonderful!

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  7. Wow! A mansion close to the paddy fields.. that must be so lovely.. unfortunate though that it had to be demolished. The charm about old buildings is something out of this world

    Bhavya
    Just Another Blog

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  8. such a bful house was razed down :-/
    SAD
    anyway great story

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  9. That made for an interesting read! The house was razed down... to make way for the new one?!

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    1. It was sold out Shilpa as the chidlren moved out in search of greener pasturs. The new owners razed it down :-/

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  10. What a great story, Meena. Too bad you don't have pictures, but I must say the way you described it, I formed my own pictures! :)

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    1. Thats such a compliment... thank u :)

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  11. Sad that the house had to razed. But I guess, one cannot stand in the way of 'progress'. But sad, all the same.

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    1. Indeed its sad! I wish I had more memories around it...

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  12. Your description of the house made me long to have a look at it. Sad that it is razed.

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    1. maybe I will fish out a pic from somewhere!

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  13. lovely description of an era gone by :)

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  14. I love stories with a lot of spicy mystery :) and houses with such juicy tales are another thing altogether :)

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  15. Wonderful narration. Only a picture would do more justice to this. :)

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  16. Interesting to read, thanks for sharing !

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  17. I am glad you took A to Z , we get to know wonder memories and inspiring stories.

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