‘Anantha Jyothy’, my Habsiguda house – takes birth. Bhoomipooja, nearly four decades ago, in the presence of my mother, who was fortunately available at Hyderabad then. She did stay for short periods in this house later, but my father did not, though I was happy that he lived to see the completion of the house to comment ‘a hundred people can be served food at a time, in your two halls, Konthai!’. (The old people always thought about serving food to others! )
Earlier, when he came to see the vacant land, the approach roads were not good as the housing colony was just taking shape. He had to pass through a water -clogged patch when he commented: ‘ to reach your house, I have to swim or fly’.
Swimming was no problem for him and I would have brought him by a helicopter, if necessary, but he passed away before I could shift to my house. That house, though a Nalukettu, a big one, didn’t have modern facilities but my parents preferred to continue to stay there. To reach the bathroom and toilet, they had to carry an umbrella during rains, but that was not a problem for them- for us too when we were children. When I went during holidays, I saw a snake happily crawling over my sisters when they were sleeping on a veranda with openings to the backyard! But for them, that house was Swargam , paradise, as my mother used to claim proudly!
I say the same now, to my children !
As my son Atchu said, ‘it is not the walls and doors that make the house, but the memories and sentiments surrounding it’
My children are aware of my sentiments but they insist on my staying with them, considering my age and health aspects. Let me hold on here, as long as I can!
But how long?
The lady with dark glasses in the foto is Dr. Malathy Damodaranmy, daughter of EMS Nambudiripad.
Dr. Malathy was my college at NIN. Damodarans were my neighbors in the NIN campus too and we chose the neighboring plots hoping to live close by. It didn’t happen.