Tuesday, June 27, 2017


The Railway station and asking amma when we'll go back home. I didn't speak the language. Our first residence was in Saligramam. When it was huge. Empty for most part. And I remember the temple elephant that would come on rounds. 

As soon as we came to Chennai, my mom saw something like a tiny lemon sized swelling on my lower abdomen, took me the hospital to realize I had to be operated for Hernia on both sides. 

Dr Prasad - my doctor and my surgeon. He belonged to the Ramanathapuram royal family. My grandfather was apparently friends with the Ramnad Raja and I guess our families are still very much in touch. Dr Prasad has seen me grow from then to now. He operated on me on my condition that I would get Gold spot and Vada Sambar. I think he charged us 4 rupees for the surgery. Just 4 rupees. This was 1989/1990. I remember I wasn't allowed to eat for a while before the surgery. And post surgery, I have a memory of being carried home by someone. We lived on the first floor of an independent house which had an open terrace. For the entire time I recuperated I had great joy in clapping my hands to beckon an adult. I couldn't talk, laugh or do anything without it hurting my stomach. Leave alone call out to get something. So I would clap and someone would come running. I think I remember thatha and paatti by my side for a long time. 

When you are a child your perception of time is very different. So is perception of space. What seemed like ages and what seemed huge then pales in comparison and you wonder what has changed. 

I guess from Saligramam, we shifted to Besant Nagar. Another house with an open terrace. It was a pretty common type of a construction those days. The house owners would live downstairs and the tenants on the upper floor. 

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