That was the house in I which I grew up, where I spent fourteen years of my life, my childhood.
The house with the wooden gate which I would run to open before anyone else could and the gate which I avoided like the plague when our neighbors, the Saran’s got a dog!! ( five long years!!)
It had a beautiful lawn where I spent many early mornings studying for some exam or the other, where I would have conversations with the flowers, the hollyhocks, petunias, pansies, phloxes chrysanthemums, the motias, not to forget the Champa tee which I planted myself and which I proudly showed off to my son many, many years later. The lawn in which I spent so many nights looking at the stars just before going to sleep ( times when one could sleep out in the open!!)
It also had a lovely kitchen garden with its many fruit trees, mango, papaya and guava. Oooh!! how I loved plucking the partially ripe guavas!! The garden, which was my mother’s pride and joy, from where she got her fresh produce of brinjals, ladyfingers, an occasional turnip which we then had to, had to have for lunch.
The house where there was a window next to my study table from where I loved watching the rain. The sight of the raindrops falling on the leaves and the sound they made when they fell on the concrete, not to forget the fresh, barky smell of the first rain…. the petrichor.
There was this loft in the house which I would climb into during those hot, summer days when everyone else was taking a nap, and I was at a loose end.. how many times I would have got stuck there as I could climb up but not down .. and how I would get shouted at by my mother!! ( but obviously, I would never listen!!)
In that house, I had this beautiful blue coloured kiddy sofa set complete with cushions and all, my little corner where I would entertain my friends, have my small tea parties with Meena, Asha, Prabha and Shabnam.
And it was where every Sunday evening I would sit in front of the AC, and for some strange reason sing random songs, with my head stuck to the vent, the cold air making my hair fly and and my father looking at me with that indulgent look on his face!!
It was where I got exposed to books in a big way with my father sitting and reading out extracts from the books he loved, Letters from a Father to his Daughter, The Discovery of India, The Story of my Experiments with Truth, not to forget his collection of the PG Wodehouses and Alistair McLeans. I remember the occasions when he would fly into a rage because someone had borrowed one of his favorite books and then not returned it!! A criminal offence in his eyes!!
The house where my brother and I would play these silly games with him chasing me out of the house and locking me out and then with me banging on the doors and windows!! Where we three siblings would have our share of pillow fights and shouting matches !! ( I would invariably outshout both of them!!) And then mom would come and tick us off!!
The house in which I would sit with my father with this black diary where I would have listed out complaints against everyone in the house who had troubled me!!!! (though in reality, it would be the other way around!) while my dad had been travelling!
And today…. the powers that be have decided to demolish the house taking away my memories, the symbol of my childhood to make way for a modern, new age multi-storey building!!
As I bid adieu to you A/2491, how I wish I had visited you more often, taken a few pictures.. but alas!