I was born in a small village named Valady in state (similar to county in England) named Tamilnadu in south of India. This also is the birthplace of my mother. The tradition in India dictates that the first child in a family will be born in the mother’s birthplace. Valady is a spiritually enriching place as it is very near to Srirangam, famous for its Sri Ranganatha temple.
I have very fond memories of this place. My father was settled in Kerala, another state adjacent to Tamilnadu. I and my brother used to visit this place once every year during the summer holidays to visit my grandmother and my uncle who lived there. His name is Natanam Mama (mama means uncle in Tamil). He could make one of best halwas & Mysore Pak (Indian sweets) that I have had. The sweets used to melt as soon as you put it in your mouth. Being a kid, this was divine. He used to be very fond of us kinds preparing all kinds of delicacies when he had the time.
I used to go there during summer holidays. And know what that is sugar cane time. Freshly cut sugar cane in the local markets used to make our mouth water. I used to get money from mom and buy the same from the market for all of us kids (almost 6-8 of us). My grandmother had a servant named Mari, who used to be an expert in sugar cane. He would come with us and select only the best. We used to sit in the village road, listening to his stories, He used to make different stuff him selves and give it to us. I get sentimental when I think of him. Such love and affection for kids without expecting anything from us.
Valady had one another charm. Its own small railway station. The train going to Madras used to go through this route. We used to wait eagerly everyday to see the train pass thru. Oh!! The fun of being a child, everything is a wonder. And after all these days of fun, the dreadful day used to come, when we had to return back to Kerala, taking with us the memories and the fun that we had, back to the dread of going to school.
Now a days I days I don’t get much chance to visit the lovely village. My uncle had an heart problem and surgery couldn’t help him. He left us and he left all of us loads of love and memories and God I can’t replay all of that. I miss him and his affection badly. I miss my childhood days in Valady.