Friday, October 15, 2010

It's been a really long time since I posted here. But the memories have to come and so strongly, that you want to write about them.
Today, just randomly, I remembered the flat that we stayed in last, while in Calcutta (Kolkatta). It was a gracious, spacious old flat. We were on the ground floor. There were four bedrooms, with attached bathrooms and what came to my mind were the beautiful copper boilers in each bathroom, for hot water. They were huge, by today's water heater standards, and the water was heated by piped-in gas. When you wanted hot water for a bath, you had to turn the main jet out from underneath, light it and then slowly turn it back in, when the burner ring, under this great big boiler, got lit. My mother instructed us all to be very careful when lighting it, as she warned that otherwise there could be an explosion!  This pictures is the nearest to what our water heater looked like (as I remember).

There was a cooking range in the kitchen,with a large oven, which too was powered by piped-in gas (natural gas). Only my mother lit the oven, as she considered it too dangerous for anyone else to do.

I also remember that there was a long corridor running through the house, from which all the rooms led off. This corridor was a scary place to traverse at night, especially for my younger sister. As there were 4 bedrooms, and we didn't need them all, one bedroom was hardly ever used. For some strange reason, we invested this room with all the scary night things children are afraid of. Now one had to walk down the corridor quite a way, to put on the corridor light. But even when the light was on, somehow the part of the corridor, near the unused room, seemed much darker. To get to our bedroom, or my parents bedroom, we had to go through this darker area and pass the unused room. So, if my mother asked one of us (usually me, being the older one there)to get something from her room or ours, it was an act fraught with terror. My mother had no patience with such stupid fears and expected action pronto. So, I would run past this room, without looking in. But, over time, I managed to conquer my fears by forcing myself to enter that room and put on the light, usually accompanied by our family dog [:-)]. But it remained scary for my younger siblings for quite a long time.