The best place that I always will cherish for the rest of my life is the one house that defined holidays and fun for me; “My Mom’s parents house”. This was where all my cousins came and where we usually spent most of the holidays.
The house as I remember, was painted in shades of yellow, green with a porch overlooking the door. The front yard had lots of Ashoka trees, crotons, a moonbeam flower plant with branches protruding over the wall, a small luna covered in brown cloth cover standing closely next to the water tank built in the ground for municipal water. Lots of trees on either sides of the house that included mango, neem, amla and many more. The back yard was a wide place with stone tiles for flooring; a small tulasi plant stood in the center of the yard that had small brick stand build around it, painted in yellow and red. Straight behind the plant a few yards away was the water boiler that burnt on paper, coal and coconut branches. To the left of the yard was a small patch of soil with banana tree, coconut tree and other small shrubs with a small center place for a person to stand and bathe. Two bathrooms stood on the right hand side of the yard in the corner with a large water tank built inside to store water. A small storeroom stood beside the bathrooms that held the old newspaper and some tools.
The inside of the house was very big with three bedrooms, hall, front room, store room and a kitchen. The front room as I remember had a sofa, two chairs covered in light green cloth covers; with a showcase behind the chair. Two windows opened behind the sofa and the other chair letting the room to be well ventilated. The showcase held the best collection of handy work of my grand mother ranging from wooden dolls donned in sarees that were well accessorized, hand made toys, cloth work on frames and many more. The first bedroom right beside the front room was the TV room which had the TV, large work table with a type writer, telephone and lots of paper and post. It also had a recliner made of wooden frame with long hand rests and thick cloth reclining chair right in front of the TV. Two windows overlooked the front yard and the side alley of the house. The second bedroom, which was the master bedroom of the house, had a window overlooking the side alley and a door that opened into it. It had an old model of rocking sewing machine and double-cot bed. Bedroom opened into a hall that had a connecting passage from the front room of the house. The hall stood at the center of the house with a large table that seated six people. There was a refrigerator on one side of the hall towards left with a closet to its left. A small bottle of calcium sandos that later was used for cloved was kept of the top of the fridge. A small wash basin was built on the right hand side of the dining table with a large shelf directly behind it. The shelf held the crockery and the shelf near by to the wash basin held the binaca toothpaste and big bottle of lavender powder. The store room that opened from the hall was filled with spices, soaps, tooth pastes, groceries, pickles, flour, sugar and jaggery. The third bedroom was mostly a spare that held lots of post from previous months, extra pillows, bed sheets and beds. Finally, the kitchen was a sanctuary where my grandmother spent most of her time cooking and praying. The small shelf beside the stove had boost, sugar and nuts. The kitchen opened into the back yard with a window overlooking it.
The morning usually began with the radio playing ads and suprabhatam, with the subtle floral fragrance that wafted from the flower basket, which was filled with flowers just plucked. The hot fumes of coal and coconut rubble boiled the water in the back yard boiler while the freshly cooking curry and dal flavor filled the kitchen. The scent of dhoop sticks and soap used to come across the house that marked the inception of the day. The small oval shaped steel plate, a big plate with dents for curries and dal, old fashioned steel glasses fancied for water, the lemon and mango pickles with powders made from scratch are just a few things that mark the memories of this house.