A graceful and honorable old age is the childhood of immortality.
They say, one shouldn’t really forget their roots, where they came from. I haven’t. And that’s why when was pondering the first topic to be on the blog for this website, nothing could beat the photo series I did at my ancestral home from my mothers side.
I still treasure the endless childhood memories, associated with homes from both my parents side. And they will always be one of my most esteemed memories I have grown up with.
Last year, when I visited ancestral place from my mother’s side in Chandrapur, which I did after couple of years, it has gotten in terrible shape. On realizing that it was around 100 years old, such a condition was, somewhat expected. On noticing the house in such a state, I quickly took out my camera and wanted to treasure the place, of what was remaining and the memories that stood with every nook and corner.
Also, the place, of what I was informed, is in process of going for a redevelopment. And if that happens, then these photos probably would be the last of the place.
This blog, is part words and part visual, depicting the place of what is, and that soon will turn into, what was.
Without getting into more words, let me start with the visuals.
This is the walkway to the place. I clicked this picture from a tiny bridge that we called ‘pulliya’, which bridged the main road to this walkway. This pulliya is where everyone from the neighbourhood used to sit after dinner to discuss about everyone’s lives. One of the many memories of this place is of the time when we didn’t have a telephone connection at home. The wall that you see on the right is the MSEB (electricity board’s) office, and that used to be the place to call, whenever we had to speak to anyone at home, urgently.
Few steps in to the walkway from the bridge and on the right there’s this water well, called ‘Vihir’. The water isn’t potable now, but back in it’s glory days this place was the hub of the area. You’d see at least one human at any given time over here drawing water from the well.
Further down the walkway, just outside the house, there was this small place on the left side. Eons ago this place was called ‘Vrindavan’, which over the years has changed frequently. It then was converted to ‘Brindavan’, ‘Tulsi Vrindavan’ and then ultimately took the name as ‘Bindrana’. This used to be a small plantation, which later was cemented. And all that remained from the plantation was the custard apple tree as you can see.
And this, is the entrance to our humble abode. That wooden chair you see is where you’d always (and yes, always!) see my grandmother ‘Aaji’ sitting, waiting eagerly to welcome everyone. Now that she is no more, the chair still stays there, rarely used by anyone. My grandfathers younger brother, as you see him in the picture, fondly called ‘Tatya’ by every single human being, will be at the entrance door, smiling. This picture is taken from the courtyard right outside the house, known as ‘Aangan’.
This is the living room (hall) of the house, the first room of the house, and called ‘Baithak’. This used to be the gathering room for everyone and to watch TV. When landline came in the house, it was kept in this room (seen on far end on the right). Tatya is seen catching up on his afternoon siesta, in this picture.
The shoe-rack. And this view, over the rack, seen from tatya’s resting place. You could see till the main road through this window. Notice a portion of the wooden chair of Aaji? Yeah, this is the reason she chose that location to wait for anyone.
The backside of the main door that had a ‘kadi’. The screw-driver that you see hanging, I don’t recollect it being every used for its rightful purpose. Have always and always seen it being used as the lock for the door!
Moving inside from the living room is this staircase, called ‘Jeena’, to go upstairs. Now this place has many support crutches to keep it stable.
Further inside, this is the view to upstairs. This is also one of the places, which was the coldest place in the house and have always found solace in.
The room on the right of the staircase, is of Munna-mama. It has a balcony overlooking for a better view at the walkway and main road. It is kind of dilapidated as of now, but has been another place to spend countless hours in. The place has books and computer! Oh, my memories with the computer in the early days!
Closer look at the balcony and the walkway to the main road
On the right side of the above balcony, is this big open gallery and almost a terrace kind. Hence it was also called as ‘Gacchi’. Good place to sit on the first floor, that has a good ventilation. The door you see here, is the door of the old kitchen. The kitchen, however, is shifted to the one on ground floor, that you’ll soon see. Those two triangle hollows on the wall, on either side of the door, are called ‘Konada’. This place had about 2 ropes, which had everyone’s clothes hanging! And a spring (and bouncy!) sofa that had only one use – to keep the mattresses! Refer to the entrance of the house from the aangan. You’ll see the outside view of balcony and gallery.
The room on the right side of the upper deck kitchen of Deepak mama. The entrance to this room is on the left side from the staircase. The tap here was a multipurpose one that served many purposes. The window gave the view of the government hospital right behind the house. Update : I don’t have any recollections but am made aware that this used to be the dining table, when the kitchen on the first floor was active.
And thus, you come back to the staircase to walk down. Long steps, not for faith hearted!
The famous wardrobes! Every cloth of the house could mysteriously fit inside this! Other than the clothes that hung on the ropes, upstairs! 😛
Right next to the wardrobes was this stick. I suppose it was of my grandfather, whom I have never seen (or have no memory of). Always seen this stick next to the wardrobe and used for only one purpose – to scare the street cats trying to sneak inside the house! Update : It was called ‘Maychi kaathi’
This view is clicked from what you see in the above picture of the stick and the place is called ‘Chappari’. On the right is Aaji’s bed. On the left is the forever blue coloured dining table. On top you’ll see coloured pictures of Aaji and Ajoba (grandparents). The ones in black and white pictures are my Panjoba and Panaji (great-grandparents). And the door below is the entrance to ‘Maaj Ghar’. What lies inside of this is a secret! But now it is frequently used as grooming room!
The ceiling of Maaj Ghar, however, is interesting in its own way. Aaji used it well. Every time a baby was born in the house, she used to write down the name and their birth-date on the ceiling. That’s how she remembered everyone’s birthdays. PS : My family is huge!
I have no idea what these papers are (or probably never even bothered to check). Though they’ve been hanging inside Maaj Ghar since forever, in the same state as I have first recollection of it! Update : Apparently these are the letters and the hook was used to held all the letters (and bills and all loose papers) together!
The view from Maaj ghar through the door. The designer door, known as ‘Chappari cha darwaza’, on the outside that you see, is the secondary door to the house. And one can enter the house directly here from bindrana, in case guests are sitting in the baithak room.
The fan above aaji’s bed, and that fanned cool air to anyone sitting around the bed.
A side view of the passage that aaji called ‘Chappari’. The door you see in the center is the door from baithak room. On the right of the door are the two wardrobes and the secondary door of the house. On the left of the door is the staircase. A little closer, on the left is aaji’s bed, then entrance to Maaj ghar, and then the blue dining table. Will also notice the ceiling fan and photos of the elders.
A special mention of this switch board right above the dining table for light and fan. During breakfast and meals, while sitting at the dining table, these switches have been admired and stared the most from the entire house, countless hours. And since no one could reach the switch directly, because of the dining table stuck to the wall, there was one special stick that was used to perform the task of turning the lights and fan on/off! And the hook on top right corner is called ‘Khoonthi’.
The saviour while we dined. This is the netter wall right behind the dining room. Also has been proved beneficial while communicating with the neighbours!
The window by the dining table
And the ‘Paani cha madka’ next to the window. Want water? This is the place you should come to have cool water! Tahaan trupta!
Right opposite to paani cha ghada, is the entrance to this one room. I’m not sure what it was called or the purpose, the only thing that I know was kind of utility room. The gyser (portable, olden style that was called ‘paani garam karaecha bamba’) used to be here. This also lead to the secondary bathroom right outside and water-tank and back side wall, overlooking the hospital. Though the most used of this room has been of keeping soiled utensils for the maid to wash. Update : It was called Madhali room
And here comes the kitchen, the swayampak kholi. All the yummy food was prepared here!
‘Jevan thevaechi almaari’. The food stayed here, when we didn’t have a refrigerator. On a second thought, even when the refrigerator came in the house, this almaari always has been the place to keep food.
And my one of the best picture in this series. The window by the kitchen.
The night view of the dining room. And thus, it concludes the tour to my ancestral house!
Was the photo-series a bit too long? Found anything interesting about the place? Use the comments section below to share the memories of your ancestral house, or the house that you have childhood memories of.
And if you liked this photo-series, feel free to share it among your circles!