On Josier House, New Kalpathy, Palakkad
My dear Usha,
Amma mentioned that a bull.dozer demolished the rear portion of the house, and it is level ground now, except for the well.
My mind goes back, to many earlier decades. My memory is refurbished with the inputs from my father, who like me had stored up long years of history of the family. The koodam in the house was there when I was born. The earlier small kitchen beyond it was enlarged by my father when I was a child, to take care of the very large family size, also to take care of the family's new status as land lords! The upstairs portion was modernised for the convenience of my brother Manian who was among the first batch of college goers from the village!
All of us, upto Gopalan, even Umamaheshwaran younger to him, who died at age one due to epileptic fits were born in the rear corner of the Koodam, the very spot where Ganesan had kept the refrigerator. When my mother was about to deliver and had labour pains, the bamboo that tai, that covered the Thinnai verandah would be removed and used to provide privacy to the labour room!
THE OLD ORDER MUST CHANGE TO FULFIL CHANGING NEEDS AND WISHES. But then, sentiments continue to haunt one's memory, and unforgettable old events come back to mind. My father used to claim that several generations of 'Josiers' were born at the same spot, and in the same manner. What a continuity, what a tradition, if only one could preserve it as a heritage.
Suresh and Ramesh were born in the house where engineer Viswanathan now stays. That was where Lakshmi chithi's mother was staying at that time.. For Ganesan and me, sivaram, Kame etc. this is where we first appeared on this earth, and prospered in life and kept up the family values and honour.
Josier House to me is a temple, where the spirit of very, very great human beings prevails. it is nice to have a modern house, but into it has to be built in the values and traditions that have kept us so well and so far.
20 October 2012
Dear family, Attached for your information is how the Josier House looks now beyond Nezhi. The plan is to rebuild on the original scheme, but make it suitable for present day requirements. Will keep you posted on how the project progresses. Navaratri greetings to all.