Our life in Maraimalai Nagar and Mambalam.December 31, 2006 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
We started our life in Maraimalai Nagar when Chitra was a baby in arms. Raju and Chitra both started their Maraimalai Nagar Schooling in Sri Jothi Mission School and later in St. John’s School. They did their 5th Standard in the former and joined the latter for their 6th.
Our home was very small, with just a small hall, bedroom, a partitioned kitchen and a bath/toilet. Slowly we could add additional structures to our premises. We dug a well, built one wall of our compount at one and the next when we had enough to spend. We added a front portion, and later had one room on the first floor, and later constructed the second room, bath, toilet and kitchen. Then we could have one tenant in the ground floor. Maraimalai Nagar had a beauty of its own in the initial years but later it became a clutters of small homes, small streets, small shops.
We were travelling together to the city, taking our 6-month old daughter with us, for our workspots, everyday. We used to start at 6 in the morning with our lunch and breakfast packed, baby food for Chitra, catch the train at 6.20, reach Madras Beach Station around 7.30, sit and have breakfast togher in the Railway Station, and I walked to my office nearby. Kala used to proceed by bus, alight one stop short of her office stop, leave the child to the care of a paid caretaker, and walk to her office. In the evening, she used to take the bus from the terminus, and the caretaker handed over the baby to her in the next bus stop, and we again met in the railway station to take the train back home, reaching it at 8. Then she used to make hot meals for us all, and we will hit the bed at around 9.30.
Life was hectic but pleasant, tiring but satisfying. After sometime, our neighbours, a Maharashtrian family voluntarily took care of our daghter, putting us at ease.
We had many friends and wellwishers there. We had a temple nearby. We went to the city for visits during weekends. Our children grew up, gained good education, acquitted themselves well, and there was goodwill all around. We had very friendly neighbours, and our children had many playfriends.
We lived in Maraimalai Nagar for about 8 years. We felt that if we lived nearer to children’s schools, they will have more study and play time, and they were getting on in years and going to upper classes. So, we moved to Mambalam.
When Raju was promoted to the 11th Standard, we shifted him from Sri Narayana Mission School to D.A.V. Hr. Sec. School in Gopalapuram. He did his middle school years in Narayana Mission School, which was just next door to our apartments complex. Chitra also joined Narayana Mission School where she completed her School Final. We lived on Babu Rajendra Prasad Street off Station Road, very near Mambalam Station. It was a very convenient location for a variety of reasons, with the Bus Stand, Railway Station, the market and all the facilities near at hand, and there was even a barber shop on our street.
Mainly there were many temples and the Ayodhya Mandapam at walking distance. During the music season, we totally freaked out, I and Kala, with the children sstaying home for their studies and home work. Even off music season there were always some devotional activity going on there. Murugashramam was nearby. There wer also carnatic music festivals at a temple nearby. We have listened to many music greats singing or performing there. on general no activity days, we can just sit on the sands there and commune silently with each other. There were Movie theatres nearby, hotels for refreshments, post office and everything you need for a good human settlement. The fresh vegetables we used to get there, the provision shops near at hand, oh, it was nice living there.
Raju and Chitra were both studying in narayana Mussion school and earning good names and performing well, collecting medals and certificates and distinguishing themselves, and making us proud to have such good children. Who bore me such good children? Oh Kala, why did you leave me and your children so soon. God and fate had been too cruel to you. No word can suffice the pain and misery you have undergone in your final days.
Well to return to Mambalam days: It was in Mambalam that Raju cleared his school final and Chitra attained puberty. In 1979 I was serving as Private Secretary to Mrs. Jouher Osman Ali Khan,then around 60, wife of an Industrialist, who was a renowned Honorary Social Worker on her own rights, with whom I served till I left her service in 2001 to join my son , wife and daughter in Hyderabad. Kala had a continuous unbroken service record. She was working in Tablets India Limited, and when she was shunted to their Maraimalai Nagar Works, we changed our residence to our own house there. This was also due to the fact that our Mambalam house landlord sold the house and we didn’t want to change our allegiance to the new houseowner.
Our days in Mambalam were over when our landlord asked us to either vacate or stay on as we wishes, because he was selling his house to someone who was prepared to keep us continuing as tenants. But by then we had our own house in Maraamalai Nagar which we had rented out. We also requested our tenants to vacate so that we could move into our own house. Thus, we left Mambalam behind and started to live in Chromepet
p.s: In Mambalam, our religiousness was very evident and our life was at most cultural best phase. In our complex, there was a Ganesh Temple and every evening there used to be a mass recitation of Vishnu Sahasranamam at which my son and daughter regularly participated and recited it totally out of memory. There were traces of theism amidst us even when we lived in Maraimalai Nagar and later at Chromepet. I think it was only when we were in Hyderabad that all of us even including Kala become more of sceptics, distancing ourselves from rites and rituals slowly by and by.