Saturday, April 30, 2005


And so the family has more or less bid goodbye to the tharavad, and sooner or later the other one will also go. It's good in a way that the wishes of the elders were given into, rather than it going towards building some shopping complex, or as a cousin said, a "beer parlour"!
I am sure we all have memories of the days we spent there - me a little less, because I spent only a week every summer there. My father and his cousins grew up there, all literally under one roof. It sure must have been pretty noisy, with my aunts singing and playing the violin and the boisterous boys playing all over the compound/parambu.
I do have a few toys from my kiddie days stored somewhere - the cars ofcourse have pride of place in my bedroom back home. The cycle tyres Achan and my uncles used to play with were still next to the staircase when Achan finally took one last look at the house. Mani Chettan will probably clean out the house before it's finally handed over. The tyres were very special for Achan, and he and my uncles always said it reminded them of their childhood when things were a lot different.
Being the youngest grandson, Achams pretty much pampered me and I pampered her back:)! There are so many memories of her. She taught me a lot, and I imbibed a fair bit from her too. There are these two flowers (I dont know their names..) which she would string into a mala for her pooja room, and whenever I was there, she make me sit down and help her with it and simultaneously tell me stories from the epics.
When I was 8, I drew a Ganapathi for her, which was still in her room till last week. I guess it was special for her. She enjoyed life to the fullest, and didnt complain much, even during all the tough times she went through - the operations, the highs and lows. I dont mean to sound cliched, but she knew how to meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same.
I guess Achams was the only reason why I looked forward to the Thrissur trips, and when she passed away a few years ago, that link too was washed away. But yet, every nook and corner of the house has memories of her for me. I cannot believe that I might not see the pooja room again, nor will I see the places where I played cricket and football with my cousins. Somehow it will be a very different Thrissur I see next when and if I go there.
That house saw so many things...births, deaths, marriages, ups and downs. I did have hopes that someday (maybe 10 years down the line) I would go back there with (what would be) my family and show them what life was like there! Today the tharavad concept is pretty much alien. I did express my dreams that we'd go pray at the same places where Achams would take us to - Vadakkunnathan, Paramekkavu and the Bhadrakaali ambalam. But then some things are never meant to be - man proposes and God disposes.
Having been all part of the same compound a century ago, the people around were also relations. Plus Achachan's veedu was also just around the corner. I never met my Achachan, but Achan's told me a lot about him, and I look at Krishna Vilas and its rooms and gape at it, and think to myself that this was where the man I was named after grew up. I never met my Achachan, nor any of his siblings, except for Unnikrishnammaman. Both Achan and I always pray in the pooja room where Achachan would sit and pray every morning and evening.
Krishna Vilas too will go soon. I told BV I wanted a snap of the family portrait that hangs in the living room there, and hopefully I will get it. It has a snap of someone as a little kiddo in his sister's lap, looking all cute and kiddish. It has my aunts as little girls in pigtails. Has Achams with her real teeth (I didnt know she wore dentures till I was 12!), smiling away to glory. It has uncles, aunts, grand-aunts and granduncles all in their younger days. As I tell my dad, the dashing young K & T men!
It was an amazing experience working on the family tree 2 years ago with Achan and R-ammaman. Learned so much more about Achan's side of the family, especially the links between the Ks and Ts, although it sometimes gets confusing as to who's a T and who's a K! Also realised Achan had an elder brother who passed away at the age of 6, and that R-ammaman had a brother and sister who both died young. Learned that people I called Ammaman worked out to be my cousins at times, and dudes I called Tyson and Kichu were actually my uncles! Was telling S about it she immediately said I should call her Ammayi! Also lamented then, that Achamma's line was closed down (no female "heirs" to the K-title, we Nairs follow a matrilineal system), but then miracles do happen and sure enough G had a little daughter.
And so it's the end of an era....To think that we will never write K H, M Rd, Thrissur again is strange!

So that's that.....


jon said...

After we paid for our kids summer horse camp we found it tough to recover! I totally agree with you!

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