1, Ranganathan Road, Nungambakkam – part I
Side maadis - As soon as we climb the stairs, before we reach our front door, on the right side there used to be an open space which we used to call side maadi (as it was in the side and we were in maadi) The number of afternoons were spent in this space is countless! As there was a huge neem tree giving shade to the whole space, it was a great place to spend the afternoon. Only thing is we did not have any steps to reach it, but have to climb over a small parapet structure. Even my Thatha and Paati did not have difficulty to climb over. I recall that we used to take Thatha’s easy chair to side maadi and he used to rest there in the chair. I heard that the side maadi had a very low wall initially and when I was sleeping there with my uncle, I fell over on the asbestos sheet (which was the roof of the shop below). After this the wall height was increased and we had 2-3 concrete seats attached to the wall from where one can have a view of Ranganathan Road. Sabitha and I have spent so many evenings there sitting on the concrete seats and talking nonsense!
Behind this side maadi, there used to be two more side maadis – again we were supposed to jump on a small parapet to go to each side maadis. The house owners used to dry vadaams in the second side maadi and the third side maadi overlooked our hall window.
More on my favourite place in part II