I lived in the same house from the time I was born till the age of 30. Writing about the same thing again won’t be very interesting. Instead, I think, I’ll write about the house I loved the most. A holiday home. On top of hill in one of the busiest cities in the world – Mumbai.
This tall mountain-like building was one of the finest in the area when Dad bought it. I always thought it was to celebrate my birth. He bought it in the year I was born. All my school holidays were in Flat 3A2. On the first day on summer holidays we would be flown to Mumbai and on the last day flown back.
I loved the size of the place. It was a small flat compared to large house we had in Calcutta. Cosy, comfortable and warm. Everyone was within hearing distance of each other. The living area was always breezy despite the torrid heat outside. I could read all I wanted on the raised marble slab while everybody watched TV. Idle days, no school, nowhere to go…
The building was divided into two blocks A & B. Both had mesmerising mosaic pillars with suns in the centre. One in yellow and the other in orange. In the B side where the pillar was located, a constant breeze blew. So much so when you stood there around 4 PM with your skates on you moved with the breeze and not with any effort of your own. On the other side was a kid’s play area where I spent most of my mornings making sand castles with the other kids.
A lot of firsts happened during these holidays. I learnt to skate. I was introduced to Roald Dahl. I learnt how to make sandcastles. I learnt to ride a cycle. I learnt calligraphy. I learnt to read newspapers…
By the time I was thirteen my set of friends changed. All who I knew as kids had grown up and moved out.
The place at 12 which was a sketch of a busy city which left you alone grew up to be a small space where you always ran out of time.