The back of the house had a well and some place for tenants and a garage. Then there was a cow shed and rooms for cows and the Maali. Behind that was a huge kitchen garden. This had high boundary walls and a gate which was always locked. Once when the maali opened it to throw some garbage out I had seen a steam engine run train chugging along amidst wild flowers. Rest of the time I could hear the trains. On a couple of occassions my Gran had taken me by the local passenger train from Jharia to Dhanbad. The train was full of coal mine workers and vendors. It smelt of burnt coal.
I spent lots of my weekends and vacations in this house. There was only love, care , compassion and welcome on each and every one of my visits. I just loved the morning sun streaming into the house from all windows, porticos and aangan. I can still visualise Dad s Nana ji walking with Dhoop in his hands and chanting the Durga Chalisa. His clear voice and the smell of the Dhoop made the mornings so bright and fresh.
Dad s Nani was the grand old lady who would be seated in the centre of the house in a cushioned cane chair with long grey hair drying in the sun. From her place, she was aware of all that was happening in the house, who was coming, what the sabji waala were charging, what was served to whom on the table....
I could run all around the house and not bang into anything. In the evenings the house was a place where all children from the neighbourhood came to play.