.......This is a REMIX of the previous post !!
My name is Desigachariar ,living in one of the palatial houses in Sir Radhakrishnan Road. Born in an illustrious joint family which had Diwan Bahadurs and Rao Bahadurs by dozens.Originally hailing from Kumbakonam from interior Tamil Nadu, our Great grand father had migrated to Madras. My father was a Diwan in one of the princely states before he settled down here.I remember my childhood days- taken to school by chariot and playing in this huge house of ours with my schoolmates.It was so huge that while playing hide and seek we used to really get lost.I had my own secret entry points and hiding places that I never got out in the games
Today my only child and son Aravamudhan is coming back from USA.Its been many years since he came to India,having settled abroad for over 30 years. I have been visiting him twice every year.This time I invited him to come and spend his holidays in Chennai and to come here along with his family comprising of my wonderful Daughter in law DrRanjani and grandchildren Charu and Nirmala.
The taxi entered the compound and I could spot Aravamudhan , his wife and the kids were waving out.After exchange of pleasenteries, I came straight away to the point.I wanted to sell off the house since he didnt plan to come back again to India.I opened out the plan.One of the biggest builders in India had approached me with the proposal of out right purchase and build a tallest multi storied complex.I would be alloted a duplex flat in the opposite building with an ante room where a caretaker would live .The next week ,the builder and promoter would come in the morning to negotiate and if every thing went well I would endorse my signature. ARA (Aravamudhan )was shell shocked.
ARA : Appa ,we all know you love this house so much.How could you suddenly come to this decision.
ME ; I agree ARA,but all good things have to come to an end.We have discussed about your return to India several times.But I do realise both you and Ranjani have no plans to return.Besides ,the kids are also citizens of that country and I do not think they are going to come back here.
Have you looked at that huge house ,couple of buildings away.With the owners away its being misused by miscreants.With my age catching up, its best I move to a smaller apartment.
I saw sadness creeping in the faces of all.I had myself gone through these sentiments when contemplating about this sale.
I put my hand on his shoulders and said,the reason I called all of you to come down is that I want you all enjoy the house,perhaps one last time before we hand it over to the builders.Please remember,change is eternal and attachment is not necessary.
The next few days it was video,video and video with every corner of the house being covered.
At the end of the week,ARA and Ranjani sat in front of me in the dinner table,wanting to talk to me.I provoked them into talking.
ARA :Appa can I negotiate with the builders
Me : Sure ARA .The price indicated by them is RS 10 crores.
Morning, sharp at 9 ,two latest cars zoomed onto our portico.The portico was large enough to accomodate a dozen such cars.
Me :ARA ,please meet Mr Ismail the builder and Mr Agarwal the promoter
Me : Mr Ismail,Mr Agarwal, my son ARA will discuss with you on the deal.I suppose its ok with you .
Ismail : good morning Mr ARA.I understand this house has been in your families custody for generations ,but please dont worry theres going to be a huge complex coming up making you proud.
ARA :Thats nice Mr Ismail,before we go into price discussions I need an assurance from you.We know once the transaction is complete,we have no control over the property.So we would like to retain some portion say 25 mtrs by 25 mtrs in which we wish to to have a small model of this house and secondly may be plant two Banyan trees which would outlast all of us .
Ismail ; But that would be huge area,but I feel its a great idea.We can talk to the architect and see how best we could accomodate it in the building plan.But your point is well taken to have Nature and not losing the heritage totally.
By this time I was curious to know how well my son had negotiated.And when they disclosed what they had discussed, I felt very proud.Nature and sentiment will find a place in the future plan !!Great idea,how come It never occured to me .
The discussions went on and in the best of spirits.The entire thing was minuted and documents too prepared in the next few hours.
Agarwal ;Sir ,would you mind signing the document here
Me : OK. Never did I realise that a Win Win situation would emerge out of a situation like this.
A person was introduced as a Chief engineer(CE) who gently spelt out how they were to go ahead with the demolition.
C E :Sir,We are quite aware that this is an old construction , built with all care ,to last centuries.Therfore,we are going to use a very latest technique to bring it down.We are going to use Implosion technique with a special white flame method.The entire house will momentarily be turned into white heat state when everything gets pulverised and then the controlled explosives will ensure a perfect implosion.All that will be left is dust.Then our bull dozers move in and level off the ground.Would you believe it sir, all this will take just 30 minutes.
Being perfect hosts ARA and his wife saw the guests off.Then he came and sat in front of me, perhaps a little guilt over powering all of us.
The next day,several trucks came and took away all the things.Century old stuff.My son explained the agreement was to dispose them off to museums world over,of course with all Govt formalities.The granite and marble stones,at the entrance of the house, bearing the names of Rao Bahadhurs and Diwan Bahadurs would also be preserved. That evening we were moved to the opposite house.Next morning was the D Day.I woke up as usual at 4 am and completed my morning walk to beach.By 6 am the TV vans had occupied the vantage points to cover the first time spectacle.By 9 the experts had wired the house with explosives.The implosion was scheduled at 10 am.Once again,Lot of excitement in the air.
There was pang of sorrow deep in me, but I have always been taught change was eternal and nothing was ever permanent.So I quickly overcame it.
The demolition was completed and the house disappered right in front of my eyes.A little later Ismail and Agarwal dropped in.They had a plan in hand.The way the architect had envisaged ,dovetailing the model of the now non existant house and two Banyan trees was just terrific.It appeared that,with the help of current technology, one could have the cake and eat it too. Amazing.
ARA and family left chennai after their brief holidays.
The construction of the building was going on at breakneck speed.
One day ,I was told an IT major was going to occupy the building.That evening when I was sitting in my balcony around 6 pm,hundreds of youngsters,bubbling with enthuthiasm trooped out of the building.It reminded me of beautiful butterflies.Such a lovely sight it was.
I was living all alone in that house and now that place was full of effervescent life and energy. I felt the whole place was living. What a change for good.
I was happy and rushed into call ARA and tell him about this exciting news and also tell him that Banyan tree had started growing,and it would definitely outlast all of us !!
REMIX REMIX;;;; WHY ?
In view of the popular sentiments that the original was TOO HEAVY a write up,thought I will do a REMIX (a Currently popular phenomenon in moviedom ).And perhaps it would be better to welcome the NEW YEAR in a more Happy note !!