I grew up in parts of Gurgaon you wouldn’t have even heard of. When my mother was just a little girl, she shifted to Gurgaon, a city too young to get impeded by the idea of getting ruined. A Punjabi settlement where everyone conservative resided in peace.
My mother is a middle child; she grew up with an elder sister and a younger brother. In India, boys have always experienced the pleasure of predilection hence, my uncle did too. I remember being a child when I first walked up to my grandfather and asked for money because I wanted to eat chips. This went on till his death, as far as I can remember. After my grandfather was told by the doctors that he was dying, he used to come to my place every day and get me ice-creams, fruits, and whatnot, but one day, he didn’t come and never did after that. My mom’s childhood house was a three-storeyed building. Her childhood house was my childhood house. The number of kites we flew every august, the endless number of packets of chips we stuffed ourselves with; my uncle taught me how to wink there and the number of times I was told not to jump around on the terrace. Everything that happened in that one house was ephemeral but the memories are perennial.
When my uncle moved out, he sold half of the house post my grandfather’s demise. He sold his old house to buy a new one for his new family and my grandmother was left all alone, without her husband and her children. When he sold that part of the house, he sold a part of my childhood that I never got to see ever again. Years later, I never got to see my uncle again either. Since he thought that taking his own life is the best way to go, with him died a part of me that I pine for every day.
Many years since I abandoned my childhood, rather than my childhood abandoning me, I decided to visit the terrace of my lonely grandmother’s house. The terrace of the house that once gave you a view of the entire area now seems crippled since the downfall of the family. As the family dismantled, the house decided that it would rather get ruined than see another family experience tranquility in the house that caused pain to the one that resided in it before.
My uncle used to live on the first floor with his beautiful wife and daughter before he moved out. Now, a child of divorce lives with his mother and grandmother. The terrace is now just a tiny square with new buildings towering over my grandmother’s ruined house. Little do they know that this newness is transient and one day, they will meet with the same fate as my lonely grandmother’s house.
My grandmother is not ready to give up the ruined house, not just yet. After all, this is the house her husband built for her, this is where her children used to fight with each other and then make up instantly. This is where her grandchildren played hide and seek, and this is where her son came to visit her for the last time before he chose to give up on his life.
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Hi! I am Simran Tuteja. I am a twenty-year-old undergraduate student majoring in Mathematics from the University of Delhi. In 2019, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder and that is when I started writing. I am a writer for The Teen Magazine and DamnFitt magazine. I also have a WordPress blog.