Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reunion at our ancestral House in Kallidaikurichi - 22nd & 23rd March 2014.

Our ancestral House - 100 years old as on 2014

22nd and 23rd March 2014 are days i shall always remember. These were the days when we had a get-together of our relatives in our ancestral house in Kallidaikurichi (KIC)  in Thirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu. The majestic house shown above is our ancestral house . Built in 1914 it is now a 100 years old and it was fitting that we met here during the centenary year. This house belonged to my grandparents (from the maternal side) Mrs.Lakshmi Sankar Iyer and Dr.T.C.Sankar Iyer. Both were freedom fighters from Kallidaikurichi (see picture below) and my grandmother was also the first woman MLA in the then Madras Presidency. In a predominantly male dominated bastion during those days it was almost thought impossible for a woman to make a political mark or as a public figure. It was my grandfather Dr.T.C.Sankar Iyer who motivated and guided his wife Lakshmi Sankar Iyer to get into public life.
Mrs.Lakshmi Sankar & Dr.T.C.Sankar Iyer sitting second from right and extreme right .

This house was called the "Station View" as it stood bang opposite the Kallidaikurichi Railway Station and stands right adjacent to the main road connecting Ambasamudram and Thirunelveli. A huge house with 40-50 rooms and at any point of time then in the 1920's - 1960's  had 30-40 of our relatives living there in a joint family concept. Standing in the first floor of the house, one gets a beautiful view of the mountain ranges forming the southern tip of the Western Ghats (see picture below). This house was sold off in the mid 1990's to Mr.T.P.Ganesan who owns a Petrol bunk and was since been used by the new owner as a kalyanamandapam and also rented out for movie shootings.

View from the house. The Railway station lies beyond those Auto stand.

When we informed the present owner Mr.Ganesan about our intentions of having a reunion celebrating the centenary year of the house, he was so nice to agree without any reservation. He even went to the extent of doing repairs to set right the amenities and was kind enough to give it to us for free. Extremely nice person and we record our appreciation and thanks through this blog..

Twenty of us relatives (see picture below) then gathered for a couple of days and had one whale of a time. The continuous chit-chat, gup-shup and reminiscing of the good old times we spent in that house was the focal point of our conversations. We met, chatted, dined and slept in the house and those two days will ever be etched in our memory. In between all this , we managed to find time to visit Papanasam and had bath in the Thamirabharani river (see pictures below). We also visited the "Agraharams" and managed to buy the famous Kallidaikrichi "Appalams and Vadaams".

Group photo of the gathering

Papanasam- Thamirabharani river

The last time i visited Kallidaikurichi prior to this visit was 25 years earlier in 1990. There have been changes to this village in the form of cyber cafes, fast food joints and a lot more cars instead of Bullock carts. However, it still has those old charm of the row houses in the Agraharams (see picture below) and of course the Thamirabharani river.

Agrahaaram- Veerappara Street
A wonderful experience of the reunion and  time went off fast . It mostly does when one enjoys the event and that's exactly what happened.