I don't recall how old I am. But I do remember that I always loved playing on that terrace. A major part of my childhood memories revolve around the red tiled terrace that witnessed a lot of growing up too.
I run up the stairs, two at a time. I am trying to take three, but I can't. On my way down though I jump off four at a time and land on my feet. It is an achievement for me!
It is not hot today. The sun is not out. The sky is overcast as if its going to rain. I look up. Oh yes! The sky is crowded with pale clouds, not black yet that look laden with rain. I hope it rains. I love getting wet in the rain. I love it when the rain soaks my clothes, down to my undies.
Mom has placed a huge transparent jar of carrot kanji on the ledge of the terrace that overlooks Alkesh uncle's factory. It looks mouth watering. I try to shake it and watch the yellow specks of crushed mustard rise from the bottom and colour the water. I hope its ready to eat today. I know mom will send the servant to pick it up and take it home since it looks like its going to rain.
I want to play a make believe game. But I am alone. Both my brothers are downstairs at home. I have no idea what they're up to. I look up at the other side of the terrace, the elevated side that belongs to Mama. I want him, Mami and Didi to come upstairs to feel the wonderful breeze and see my new frock. I want them to call out to me so we can watch ships in the distance.
I decide to jump down to the lower level of the terrace and land on my feet again! Ha ha! I am so pleased!
I want to go under the ledge and peep into my house from the glass ventilator, but the fear of lizards is quite real. I am a little scared. But I also want to see if I can catch my mom's attention from there.
I go down and gingerly peep into our drawing room. My youngest brother is lounging on the sofa. He has just woken up from his nap. I call out for mom and he looks up and smiles. I ask him to call mom. But he doesn't speak yet so he won't be able to call her.
I crawl backwards out from the area watching my head and run to the window that opens in to Mami's house. Their dining table has morsels of food on it. They must have just had tiffin.
The thought of a crisp dosa, idli, korakattai or upma makes me hungry and I turn around, put my feet on the drain pipe to climb back on to 'our side' of the terrace. I run to Mama's terrace, reach their staircase and wade through a curtain of their washing - Mama's white veshti, Mami's green petticoat - all damp. I run down the stairs all the way and jump five steps landing with a THUD.
Mama is calling out to me, "Is that you Kukku?"
He is sitting on his lounging cane chair. "Yes Mama," I am saying.
"Come inside and have a dosai..."
Ah! Just the words I've been waiting to hear!!!!!