So here it is..
As a child.. I spend hours watching the rain..I was not allowed to play in the rain. There was this notion that rain made you sick and I was forbidden to play in the rain.
Chengannur house had a parapet around the veranda..it was painted red..bright red.
Ammachi would lean against the wall and stretch her legs on the parapet. My favourite place was to lean on the pillar that formed the entrance arch. I did dream of inheriting the house one day and getting ammachi’s place on the parapet!!
The parapet had so many tiny cracks on the top..I loved to see if there is any pattern..anything that I can use to link those cracks. I imagined those cracks to be roads..highways..sometimes I thought they were the rivers..It was nice to feel the crack with the tip of my fingers and follow them to the end..to imagine that, the world ended where my fingers ended.
When it rained the water would start dripping from the roof..form a water curtain..you can sit on the parapet wall and swing your leg back and forth to break..distort..destroy the curtain..but the moment you take your leg away, the curtain comes right back .. as if nothing happened.
There was a huge mango tree.. ( the same tree I climbed and was beaten and bitten! I am sure I wrote about that episode) right in front of the house. Except when the wind was really strong, the tree stood practically still..as though someone was playing ‘statue’ and forgot to say ‘over’
Then there is nadumuttam ( no correct translation, courtyard?) framed by two coffee plants..I don’t remember when coffee bloomed.. but every now and then when I went home,I would find the plants laden with red berries..Coffee plants were the hippies..they danced even with the slightest sign of wind.
Beyond the naadumuttam is the parambu with all the assorted thengu and mavu (coconut and mangoe trees)
Beyond the parambu is the kandam (paddy fields)
On the other side of the paddy fields was a neighbour’s house..(You can’t see the house sitting on the parapet wall..but in the night, there always used to be one solitary light outside that house..the only sign that you are really not alone!
On a rainy day.. I sit on the parapet wall and watch the rain..but there was only so far you could see..it wasn’t endless..
But that day..in Madras.. sitting with him..sharing the warmth..the heady smell of kouros..and watching the rain.. the view was endless..
nokkethatha doorathu..kannum nattu irunnu