Wednesday, February 24, 2010


1, Ranganathan Road, Nungambakkam – part III

The concluding part of description of the great place where I grew up.  I wish I can go back in time and see the place as it was earlier!

Veli maadi – the backyard was called veli maadi. This again was one of our favourite place and we have had many moonlight dinners here. On the veli maadi we had stairs leading to mottai maadi and below the stairs was the place where the maid used to wash the vessels.
My Paati was so finicky about cleanliness that the maids had a tough time with her. But one look at all the vessels neatly placed upside down for drying will show that her fuss has paid off!  Paati’s strict instruction was that the vessels have to be dipped once again in plain water after the maid cleans and only then dried. I remember that initially this work was done by my eldest sister and later on, it was transferred to my second sister and so on!
Paati showed the same strictness in washing clothes. The maid had to rinse the clothes atleast three times, but the bucket should be filled only half with water as water wastage is very wrong according to Paati. To this day, I shout at my maid if she wastes water!
Veli maadi was the place where clothes were dried most of the time.  The left corner of veli maadi had a hand pump and during water problem, we used to take turns and pump water to fill up big drums and undas! Opposite the hand pump were two overhead tanks and I remember Paati slipping and falling there once, fracturing her hand!

Mottai maadi – From the veli maadi stairs led to mottai maadi. Again the steps of mottai maadi was one of favourite spots of Sundari to have coffee. We used to do some bird watching from that spot too as some rare birds used to come seasonally to the trees in pakkathu school. Mottai maadi was a huge place, covering the entire area of our house on the first floor. We have spent many summer nights sleeping in mottai maadi and the Sun waking us in the morning! We used to take the transistor to hear songs on vividha bharathi and Appa and I used to hear a lot of old songs then due to which I developed a great liking for old Tamil movie songs!

On the way to Mottai maadi there was a side maadi which had very low walls. Paati used to do rain water harvesting here. Just before rains, Paati used to clean this place and close the drain so that rain water collects here. When it is full, she used to open the drain and collect the water in buckets from below!
Sundari and Jayashree were very keen on gardening and had many plants in mottai maadi. We had panneer rose, saamandhi, jaadhi poo and vegetables like onions, tomatoes.
Mottai maadi was used by us also for studies. I remember doing my homework there many days and also revising before the exams sitting on the chimney in mottai maadi.
Mottai maadi has heard gossips from different groups of people, the elders in the family, we sisters and our cousins, various guests and friends of ours!
As soon as I finished schooling, we had to shift to another house as this house was sold by the owners and it was demolished and made into a commercial building
I miss this house even today and will miss it always!


  1. Sighhhhhhhhhh! Nostalgia! Just as I read your blog, scenes were flashing before my eyes - those you have mentioned and many many more. I miss that beautiful place where we spent a large part of our childhood. The best memories of all the five of us together were at this house only. Suddenly feel like crying. Thank you for the post! lots of love, sundari

  2. I enjoyed your post so much. Thank you for sharing that.