Thrikkakara was my hometown. I’ve lived there for 19 years from the time my family moved back to India in the summer of 1987 till 2006 when we sold the large house which we called home and moved to the city area. I hadn’t been back there since then – well, except for a couple of late night rides in a company cab coming back home from work and one time passing by late in the evening heading to an office party. I didn’t want to go back there at all especially because we had had to sell our family house to pay off debts that my dad’s business had incurred. Not wanting to sell your house but having to sell it as it would get you a lot of money with which you can pay off your debt and still have enough left over to buy a small apartment and have some money left, was a relief to us and hence we did it. But it made me not want to see the house again after we handed over the keys and I avoided the small suburban town like the plague.
That changed two days ago. I was my mother as she had to go to the AIMS hospital and after having her knee scanned we had a long wait to get the report. And as it was lunch time we took a taxi to my mother’s brother’s house – which is two doors away from my old house – and bought some food along the way. I got to see Thrikkakara properly in the day light and was surprised by the rogress that I saw. From a dull deary town that had almost no shops (we had to go 3 kms to do most of our shopping, even basic stuff) and very few buildings, Thrikkakara is now a bustling little town. Lots of buildings have popped up, even a few apartment complexes. Lots of shops and stores so now the residents can basically walk to get to stores that have all their needs met. Some offices, supermarkets and hotels have popped up too. This little town is all grown up. I stopped at a small hotel to buy some biriyani for lunch.
We spent almost 2 hours at my uncle’s house and I stepped out to the backyard and took a peek at the back of my old house. Not really wanting to see the former home, I just looked at the terrace at the back where the new owner has setup a kind of sitout with an asbestos or aluminum sheet so that people can have some shade and protection from the hot sun or the rains and still enjoy the outdoors. And I saw part of a bedroom – that’s it. Mom & I purposely avoided looking at our old house just so we won’t get pangs of nostalgia and some pain that will go with it. Still I was happy that I visited Thrikkakara and left with a smile on my face. I will come again soon.