The house that was my home

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!

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17 Comments
  • Shabnam Akram
    June 28, 2019

    2489, separated by a staircase, equally evocative. Tea on the front lawns, Maulsari to climb, haarsingar flowers to pick, beans, baingan, bhindi… Racing bikes to school. Amaltas turning the Cresent golden. Cosmos nodding in the summer breezes. Bright green lochia. Dog flowers, nastratiums, dahlias, petunias ringing in the spring. Playing with Vidushi, babe in arms. Borrowing the moped from the Kapoors to get the first lessons in motorised two wheelers. The bright green hedge… No longer seen. An era and beyond.

  • Basundhara Roye
    June 29, 2019

    Very well written Sang!! Though you have often spoken about this house where you grew up, today i could visualise it perfectly! Well done!

    • Sangeeta Relan
      June 29, 2019

      Thank you so much Basu!!

  • Harkaran Chhatwal
    June 30, 2019

    Another beautiful articulation. I clearly remember my day trips to this place and how I use to run around all over and trouble you all. Seriously those days were something!!!!

    Beautiful Memories to cherish for lifetime

    • Sangeeta Relan
      June 30, 2019

      Yes, such beautiful memories.

  • Ekta
    June 30, 2019

    Superb Ms Relan.. after reading this even I’m (reader) visualising this clearly and loving 🥰 this place !! Wow 😮

    • Sangeeta Relan
      June 30, 2019

      Thank you so much 😊

  • Ranjan
    June 30, 2019

    Beautifully written. It evoked my childhood memories of growing up in a govt bungalow with kitchen garden. It surely touched a chord.

    • Sangeeta Relan
      June 30, 2019

      🙏🙏

  • Mayank
    July 4, 2019

    Beautiful memories i must say Ma’am. Its hard but i guess one needs to move on and cherish those thoughts for life . Thanks for sharing your childhood with us .Hugs

    • Sangeeta Relan
      July 4, 2019

      😊😊

  • Rohini Punj
    July 4, 2019

    Beautifully descriptive Sangeeta..

    • Sangeeta Relan
      July 4, 2019

      Thank you 🙏

  • Panchali Belde
    July 8, 2019

    Penned with love – travelling down the memory lanes to a beautiful house filled with love and laughter!

    • Sangeeta Relan
      July 8, 2019

      😀😀🙏🙏

  • Ritu Khattar
    October 3, 2020

    The house evokes beautiful memories of a childhood nurtured in the blanket of love from parents and siblings.

    • Sangeeta Relan
      October 3, 2020

      😊😊