The Parsonage at 118 Keng Lee Road…….The Compound

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quand ils sont sur un site de rencontre palmashow Christ Church Parsonage , No 118 Keng Lee Road, Singapore 8, Telephone No…52148.

enter site The Parsonage at 118 Keng Lee Road, no longer exists , except in the memories of the people who shared our home. our life and our times. The property was bought Ms. Haniffa, a Textile Business House and a modern multi-storied House now stands in the place of the old Malay House where I grew up .

binäre optionen ausbildung Built on a road with storm drains , that ran along a canal of the Singapore River, Keng Lee Road is bounded by the Newton Circus on one side and the Jambatan Merah , The Red Bridge, where nine roads met.

rencontres femmes russes Before the Singapore River had a massive makeover, the pong of the river, used mainly as a channel of waste disposal, could be quite overpowering. After the cleanup, the smell disappeared and Keng Lee Road changed status, to become prime property, next to a water body.

site de rencontre guide A wooden picket fence gate , in two parts opened into the acre. The Parsonage, built along Malay architecture ,was a  white brick house with a sloping red tiled roof that peaked twice to keep the interiors cool. Raised on concrete pillars, it could stand the onslaught of floods, if the Singapore River ever swelled up.  The house was set back and had an unwieldy, unkempt garden in front, where snakes co-habited.  Not having read the book on Herpetology, these snakes used to slither up the steps and tree branches to get into the house, curling up in the cooler parts of the house. They loved to surprise people, especially in the bathrooms. Terrified human beings, running out screeching, in various stages of undress , with or without soap in their eyes, really turned them on. As the snake menace did not decrease, with time, or with the surrounding buildings that came up around the Parsonage , the empty space around the Parsonage was cemented, leaving a circular green island in the middle, that was fenced with wire mesh and a door. The patch had many colourful hardy crotons, that brightened the patchily, cemented frontage.  A 5 ft broad trim of earth, ran un-cemented around the perimeter of the compound, next to the wall, to allow fruit trees to grow unhindered. Coconuts and Bananas grew all around the house. We never ever bought Bananas or Coconuts. At the gate on the left side was a huge Mata Kuching tree. The fruit of the Mata Kuching resembles the glassy Cat’s eye. Mata translates to eye in Malay, Kuching to cat  It is translucent with two shades of brown, like the longan fruit with its seed.

cherche femme riche pour relation There were several Jackfruit Trees , guava trees and custard apple trees in the compound. The one that the Parsonage will be remembered for , was a Malgoa Mango tree at the back of the house on the right side, in front of the Garage. We never called it Malgoa. It answered to Queenie. Now after all my years in India, I know that it was a Malgoa. No other mango smelt like the mangoes from the Queenie Tree in the Parsonage. Every year it used to flower and fruit faithfully.

My Uncle Philip (Kochuttychaen, Sibling 6 ) lived with us at the Parsonage and he was in charge of the garden and all that it bore. Or did not bear.  The Malgoa would reach the Parsonage, if, my Uncle Philip scampered up the Malgoa tree before the deft squirrels did. If, he beat the squirrels to it, he would put a plastic cover over each fruit on the tree. The plastic cover with multiple deliberate perforations, was loosely tied with a purse string at the stalk of the fruit. Sometimes, the squirrels would win and sometimes, my Uncle Philip would win. If Uncle Philip won, the plastic-cover-protected-mangoes that survived to fruition, would be gathered to ripen in hay, stacked in wicker baskets, kept in the kitchen, making the Parsonage smell like a Fruit stall in the Tekah market.

There was a chicken coop at the back of the kitchen for the White Leghorns with red plumes, that laid eggs for the Parsonage. Around November , my Mum would get adventurous and she and my Uncle Philip would bring home a couple of Turkeys to fatten up for Xmas. The resident chickens were given the step-motherly treatment the minute the Turkeys waddled in.

The arrogant Turkeys were accommodated in a five star coop, next to the Leghorns and they were pampered and fed. To kill. These wretched birds were temperamental and vicious when the are not lying, with their legs up in the air, on a Roaster, in the Oven. A rafter of Turkeys never attack adults, but they attack kids. They were happiest when left to preen and peck at their reflections in the shiny paint of the car. They hate humans. And I hate Turkey.

Tuppence, a furry mix, was the Parsonage K9. Tuppy, as we called her, lived downstairs with my Uncle Philip and guarded the compound. We were never robbed, though robberies were rampant, as were kidnappings. When Tuppy grew older, she slowed down and she seemed to have lost the will to live. One day, Tuppy just disappeared. When Uncle Philip got up in the morning and called out to her to come and drink her milk, she never showed up. That was quite atypical, as she always came when called. She loved her milk.

He searched for her high and low, but never found her. Someone told us much later, that old dogs sometimes go away to die, sparing the family they grew up with, a multitude of grief. I really do not know if this true ,or, if she went away to die. We missed her and we never had a K9 after Tuppence at the Parsonage.

We did, however, have a fire at 118, Keng Lee Road, a couple of weeks after my Aunt Esther and Uncle Mathew got married.

By default , the Parsonage had a dead space formed by the concrete pillars that raised the house to a height of reasonable clearance, to survive flooding from the river. The dead space, below the house, was enclosed by wooden panels to function as a huge godown. Anything that did not fit upstairs was dumped below in the store area, which was in fact, as large as the plinth area of the house. After the wedding, the empty cases of the aerated Fraser & Neave bottles, were stored in the basement, while they awaited collection by the distributor’s truck.

A few nights after the wedding, the maid went down to search for an old pair shoes. There were no lights in the basement and she did not take the battery operated torch, to search below. She tied a piece of cloth at the end of a stick, dipped it in kerosene and lit it.

Armed with this makeshift torch, she opened the door of the enclosure and went in. Eventually, she found what she was looking for. On her way out, she snuffed out the lighted torch and left it behind thinking that it had been put out completely. Little did she know, that it had smouldered all night. before it blazed into an treacherous inferno, in the wee hours of the morning.

The unsuspecting family, meanwhile, had gone to bed after dinner and the evening prayers. They slept undisturbed, into most of the night. The wooden floors of the parsonage ,were covered with Linoleum, an easy-wipe synthetic flooring that prevented the fumes from the basement, from filtering through. Eventually, my Dad woke up, as he started coughing. He tried to get out of bed and put his foot down the floor. The floor gave way and his foot went through the plank and was scorched by the heat below.

Saramma, get up…… he shouted, shaking her.
The house is on fire
Get everyone out
Hurry up!!

Meanwhile, the Fraser and Neave bottles in the enclosure below, started to react to the rising heat.  The blaze of flames was punctuated by the crash and tinkle of  exploding glass.

My Uncle Thamby, my Aunt Gracy, their daughter Soma, my Aunt Ponnama, her son, Soman, my Uncle Philip, my Mum, my Dad, the maid and I managed to escape, unscathed, averting a disaster of frightening proportions.

My Aunt Ponnamma, (Ponnacha, Sibling 19) the youngest of the lot, was scolded and teased mercilessly, after the smoke had settled. She was caught, sneaking back into the smouldering house, trying to rescue her jewellery.

The house was in flames…. they said.
And she was running back for her jewellery
Mad nut….. they laughed.

But then, she was the youngest of the nineteen and the one with the most spirit and spunk amongst all the siblings. The Baby of the Bunch.

Our neighbours on the left, at No 117, were an Eurasian joint family. Mr D’Sousa was an orchid-phile and he had an impressive collection of orchids that lived at the back of their House under shaded light, with sprinklers to tease the epiphytes to bloom, given the correct amount of light and moisture. Yvonne, their daughter, was my friend and we used to hang over the fence chatting. Auntie Maggie, her spinster Aunt was an absolute angel and ever so loving to all of us , keeping in touch with the family even after they sold the house and moved away

The house on the right, at No 119, was a Malay longhouse, shared by several Malay families. Most of the men in the long house were chauffeurs to the Expat community in Singapore. Sometimes, Keng Lee Road would look like a street of Whos-Who, when they parked all the high end cars they drove, on the road where they lived.

We did not have much traffic between 118 and 119,  except when my dad’s car would not start and he needed to walk across for help. Every few months one of the occupants in the Longhouse would get married.  They used to have the most colourful weddings that lasted for several days with flood lights and Ronggeng, when couples swayed in tidy lines, to lilting melodies with seductive grace.

The  Malay men in caps called the Songkok, wore a Baju Melayu , a loose tunic over trousers, with a sarong ,called the Sampin, bunched casually around the waist. The Malay women wore a long sleeved , collarless, knee length blouse over a sarong with pleats on one side. The blouse is called a Baju Kurung and the sarong a Kain. Sometimes they wore colourful headscarves as accessories.

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