What can I say about my home. It was not a big mansion or a big 6 bedroom house. It was a very modest, too modest, and its physical appearance can be explained in a few words.My house was near a fork street and facing my house there is a Pandurang Mandir. When you enter my house you pass a small entrance space big enough to fit a coffin. This space is on the right when you enter and the toilet was at the other side. Then you enter a door way into the hall. Next is the utilitity/bed/store room all in one. next on the left is the bathroom cubicle, and on the right the kitchen.
I must mention the staircase leading from the bathroom to the open terrace. In the utility room was a rectangular skylight space and there was a small three foot wall to prevent any rainwater entering the utility room. I must have thorough ly confused you with my inefficient description. Anyway it doesnt matter because it is such a small home, cosy though. This is where my libido awakened.
our neighbourhood is full of temples and it is a very central location inthe city, with easy access to the beach, theatres, libraries, the Railway Station, the Bus Termini, and an big Trunk Road leading out of the city. Our postal zone is Triplicane. Triplicane is a very old settlement along with Mylapore, St. Thomas Mount and the old British Structures which have all slowly disappeared over the years giving way to new constructions.
Triplicane is famous for its Parthasarathy Temple, Thiruvateeswarar Temple and a host of other smaller temples. It has a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims. There are big landmarks of the glorious Arcot Nawabs, to mention a few The Amir Mahal, the Big Mosque on Triplicane High Road and another Nawabi Palace on the South Beach Road. As a matter of fact the Nawabs had a lot of landed property in Madras and the Arcot District. The present Nawab of Arcot, H.H. Nawab Mohamed Abdul Ali and his family still live in Amir Mahal.
later we added the first floor structure and moved to the first floor and let out the ground floor portion for rent. Our tenants were a Kannada family of two children and their parents. They were a disciplined and god-loving lot. This part of my life comes a little later.
Our family consisted our parents, me and my three sisters. My father Mr. N. Rajagopalan was working in the Integral Coach Factory in its Carpentry/Planning Division. He was a handsome man with a mop of curly hair and sharp features. He is presumably from Dindigul in South Tamil Nadu.
My mother was a goodlooking small woman, very shy, and very affectionate. She called me Bhima whereas my paternal grandmother called Subramani because she could not call me by my own name as I was named after her husband. He was an Engineer as informed to me, who owned a charriot once. I have never seen his photograph. My grandfather died very young after his two sons were born.
As I mentioned earlier somewhere, my grandmother played the Veena and once I came across her own brief autobiography executed in her own handwriting. She had a very good handwriting and she used to write down the Carnatic music composions she knew. sometimes she used to purchase hot jilebis from a vendor and we used to relish it very much. She was very affectionate and she was also a very good cook.
As long as she was alive she cooked food in her house for all my Periappa’s family. Only at the tailend of her life time she really really fell sick and was bedridden for a few months and my Periappa used to nurse her, feed her and even did menial service to her. When she died she left for both her sons her worldpossessions which included gold jewellery and a few diamonds too. My second sister Annapoorni resembled her very much with a high forehead and in the general profile of her face.
My sisters were called Soundaram, Annapoorni and Lalitha and my mother was named Meenambal, which was also the name of her mother-in-law. My Periappa was named D.N. Ramachandran. His initial D stands for Dindigul which was added to his name in his school registers to distinguish his name from another classmate of his also named N. Ramachandran. My Periamma was called Gomathi named after a deity. My Cousins were named Usha, Ramaswamy, Ganga Bhawani, Nandi, Narayani who acquired the name Shanthi after she was married, Savithri and Rajashri.
I will take a small digression to Madurai and mention the names of my maternal grandfather’s family members. Grandfather was U. Vaidyanatha Iyer and grandmother was called Meenakshi named after the presiding deity in the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple of Madurai. She is my grandfather’s second wife, he having remarried after losing his first wife. My uncles were called Umamaheswaran and Meenakshi Sundaram, sons of my grandfather through his first wife. My own uncles were named Sankaranarayanan, Krishnamoorthy and Nagasubramanian; and aunties were named Jayalakshmi and Rajalakshmi.
In my next post I shall mention about the families of my uncles and aunties. I shall conclude this post with post.
Incidentally, my son suggested to me to keep my paragraphs small and the post itself restricted to uniform length for each post. I endeavour to toe these suggestions though I must I am a nonconformist to rules.