Transient Nature of Things

How fleetingly important are things we do in life? Be it for the moment, for the future, or even posterity, they are extremely significant at the time of doing. Yet we get over most of them with time, sometimes hold on to them for lot longer if there was major significance, still most will be lost, forgotten or not precious at all in a generation or two (the things we preserved for posterity) .

To get to the point, I went down memory lane yesterday and remembered a house in the hill country that we have stayed many times (I shall refrain from mentioning whose house etc as that is not important to the moral of the story) It is a large house that must have once been bustling with money prestige and power. There are about eight or so bedrooms. I have never managed to count the exact number though I have stayed at the place many times. Most rooms are interconnected and you walk through one room, enter another and yet another and come out in an entirely different section of the house, lost……… and you think you’ll have another crack at it and get lost again. There were two bedrooms, approx 10-12feet long and 5-6feet wide. Add to that, other bedrooms, about three living areas and two or so dining areas and so many other rooms it was not easy. You get the picture.

There is a separate entrance and staircase at the back of the house for the servants who clean the toilets to enter and move in and out without disturbing the occupants. The toilets are attached yet detached enough to do that. This meant you have to lock that side of the bedroom doors at night-time to stop intruders from entering. But then again in the good old days doors must have been left wide open.

This house cries of abandonment and loneliness these days as the generation that owned it is dead and gone, second is dead or ageing and the current owner is overseas.

The sort of open section of the house (where the toilets are located) have become a bat haven at night (these days). Previous time we stayed, lights around this area was not working and getting to the toilet at night was with the aid of the emanating bedroom light, frightening the bats in the process. I don’t know who got more scared, the bats or me walking in the semi-darkness and give a scream with the sudden rustle of the disturbed bats.

The house has its supply of water straight from a stream to the taps. Water is freezing cold day or night. It is an experience to have a shower there.

The place exudes history and a life of a bygone era and I just loved snooping around. There aren’t many household goods around anymore except for a grandfather clock, a big fat iron safe and such. The cupboards are bare except for some old delicate lace, embroidery etc. Though once, I found a handwritten letter dated 1950’s to a Colombo address about a marriage proposal. It was neatly written in perfect Queens’ English minding the p’s and the q’s . I am sure the lady of the house even had her little pinkie turned up when drinking tea. The letter was from one sister to another regarding ‘a suitable boy’ for one of the offspring. It was beautiful to read. All the correct things were checked. Good family, connections, caste and everything else in between.

What fascinated me or rather what prompted me to write this post was the memory of finding two framed black & white photographs chucked in a drawer, forgotten. One of five men, some with that curved comb in their hair and the other of a couple. I inquired from the ones (who were more closely related to the owners of the house than me) as to who they might be; none of them knew or even cared to find out.

I could see just by looking at the professionally done photos, that a lot of effort and planning went into them at the time, now unwanted and forgotten inside a drawer and will eventually be discarded if the house is sold as most of the family are overseas.

It was pleasant remembering.


10 comments so far

  1. John on

    The first generation builds
    The second generation consolidates
    The third generation destroys (or abandons, in this case)

    At any rate, memories are all that remains of most things in life.

    – The Sloth Bear

  2. The Jester on

    Maybe they had copies….?

  3. The jester on

    …Which is besides the point. Thing is, it just looks smaller when you move on and look at the grand scheme of things. What was important yesterday is forgotten tomorrow. Happens to everyone.

  4. Lady divine on

    Quoting Jester’s “What was important yesterday is forgotten tomorrow. ”
    I just couldn’t agree more!! 🙂

  5. mia on

    Very true, sloth bear : )

    Jester is a whiz kid, he is wise for his age : )

    Jester, what are you planning to do when you grow up?

  6. John on

    He is planning on being a hobo 🙂

  7. The Jester on

    Hardy har har…

    Oh! Such flattery!
    I’m planning to live off the fat of the land…. 😉

  8. John on

    Aerobics instructor ?

  9. Mia on

    Jester,is that a polite way of saying bludging?

    Shouldn’t you be nicer to your baby bro, John?

  10. Thd jester on

    Yes 😉 Baby brother? rotfl!

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