Growing Up

Building 29

Picture of the building we grew up in. 25 years back this was surrounded by trees and grass. The space in front was just a single lane road with grass on the other side where we played volleyball or badminton. The concrete road would be the cricket pitch. Our house was the top one above the blue car. If someone hit a six the ball would end up breaking a window… and the kids would run away and hide from my mom.

The roof of the Y-shaped building offered ample room for various activities. Depending on the season we would have parties, or roller skate, or have sleepovers. Some nooks and corners too witnessed some teenage ‘activities’ as well.

This building was home to officer-grade employees and so a certain level of ‘style’, and some ‘attitude’ was expected 😉 But no one had a stiff-upper lip. Everyone generally got along well, and the kids played together.

Every house had a garden. We had all kinds of trees, with a variety or fruits, mostly mango and guava. Tamarind trees would abound. One would produce guava with a red center–rare in those days. Today, it’s only heard about.

One day the colony administration covered everything with concrete. The temperature in the area rose by a couple of degrees. Rodents had nowhere to go. Bombay is known for the incessant rains and flooding is common. So when it rained the place got flooded and the entire ground floor was submerged. This happened throughout the colony and every flat was basically ruined. Now no one stays on the ground floor. Some have converted them to small shops.

Unfortunately, the current residents have no idea of how green and pleasant this place was. The building is showing its age now.


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