The Parsonage at 118 Keng Lee Road……the House

rencontre celibataire bethune The house where I grew up, The Christ Church Parsonage, had 10 steps that led up to a veranda strewn with cane chairs for visitors. I am absolutely sure that the number of the steps were 10 and not 9 or 11. I say this with unfaltering confidence. When my Uncle, Rev. John Pothen ( Kunjootychaen Sibling 18) visited us with his Family, Aunty Florrie and our English Cousins Simon and Pip we had a major kerfuffle at the Parsonage. Cousin Simon John, now Canon Simon Pothen, of The Chelmsford Cathedral, UK, was left in my care as his baby sitter one afternoon while the family was lingering over lunch. A lively toddler, chasing his ball, he slipped to roll down all ten of the Parsonage steps. I could not move fast enough to stop him . When he reached the bottom of the steps, he sat up and started yelling at the top of his voice. Fearing the worst, the whole family rushed out to see what had happened . Fortunately he was as chubby as he was frisky and did not sustain any injuries. I got the third degree from my Mum and was scolded in all the languages she and I knew, with a little bit extra, to last me 5 generations. We will not go down that road at this point, as I need to finish telling you about the Parsonage .

hombres solteros de 45 aГ±os So, I am going to make you climb the 10 steps of the Parsonage again.

click The red post box was hooked on to the wrought iron collapsible gate at one corner of the sit out, which meant that the Postman, had no option, but run up the steps, to deliver the mail. The front door of the house was wood panelled and extended from one wall of the living room to the other. Only one of the panels in the centre was used to open up as the entrance to the Parsonage. A protective wrought collapsible iron gate pulled apart allowing entry into a long, sitting-cum dining room, divided by a wall, with two arched passageways on both sides. My Petrof Piano, which is 10 years younger than me, was placed against the wall space between the two arches. Above the Petrof, facing the front entrance was a wall mounted clock. that meted out the Westminster Chimes every quarter of the hour. My Dad used to wind the clock ,without fail ,every Sunday after evening prayers and it never went out for repairs. Next to the Petrof, stood a bookshelf with a Philips radio on top, covered with a lace Doily held in place by a vase holding up some artificial paper roses. Television as a Motorola came to the Parsonage after I left for College.

site de rencontre payant canadien The furniture in the sitting room, a mismatch of odd bits and bobs, was pushed back and arranged against the 2 walls of the sitting room, facing each other. They were collected through the years and nothing matched anything else. And nobody cared. The only time my Mum and Dad changed all the furniture to match was when I got married and the whole Parsonage had such an amazing makeover, that even we could not recognise it.

robot binary option On both walls of the sitting room, that faced each other, were framed paintings above the level of the door lintels. These were mainly a medley of Christian paintings. There was one of the Veil of Veronica, with the impression of Jesus’ blood stained face on it. Another was the famous painting of Jesus holding a Lantern in one hand knocking on a closed door without a door knob, with the other hand. There were several paintings of the crucifixion. Somewhere in the middle of all these religious paintings, was an incongruous fierce looking pair of multi-branching antlers, someone had gifted my Mum and Dad.

click here Just above the doorway was the poem found in most Christian homes , finished in cross stitch on red velvet cloth and framed that said….

enter site Christ is the Head of This House, The Unseen Guest at Every Meal, The Silent Listener to Every Conversation.

In the corner of the room my Mum had her Glass Curio Cupboard with all sorts of Bric-a-Brac and figurines. Somewhere, in the crowded glass shelves was the well known Thanjavur Bommai, the papermache Indian doll, in a pavadai chattai articulated , to shake her head and torso in the wind with her palms in a mudra .

The Xmas tree when it came out, had a dedicated spot in a corner of the sitting room, close to a plug point that lit up the serial lights . My Mum would spend hours decorating the tree and though she had never seen snow, till she came to stay with us in Bhutan and England, my dear sweet Mum, used to garnish her Xmas tree with fluffy bits of white cotton wool to look like snow, for a White Xmas.

The 10 seater Burmah teak dining table was pushed to one side of the dining room to accommodate a kitchenette on the opposite side of the room. With advancing years , my Mum found the kitchen at the bottom of the steps difficult and my Dad had a Pullman kitchen put in, against one wall as a space saver in the Dining room.

Three bedrooms opened to the left. Two bedrooms, the first and the last had en suite bathrooms. The middle one was smaller and mine. The bedroom in front, with its angled facade, served as my Dad’s study and confessional to many including the parishioners. When the study was locked, it meant that that someone needed privacy and whatever was happening inside with my Dad ,was private, confidential and none of our Business.

Steps from the back led to a series of outhouses including the old kitchen and the garage on the extreme left. I never used the steps at the back, unless I knew that I was being watched. Whenever I could, I slid gleefully down the banisters. My Uncle Philip used one of these outhouses as his Den.

Most of the clergy, including the visiting Bishops from India, stayed with us in the Parsonage. My dad’s study would double up as the guest room and as a child, I was in and out of their rooms, delighted that we had visitors. There were no Trip Advisors , no tempting Travel deals and no Lonely Planet. No one stayed in Hotels those days. The Christ Church Parsonage, at 118 Keng Lee Road, was not five star , but it was warm and welcoming . And Mrs. Baboo was an excellent Cook.

One of my favourites, who never brushed me aside, as a mere child, was Bishop Gnanadasan of the Kanyakumari Diocese. Neither did Bishop Sumitra from the Warangal Diocese nor Bishop Savarimuthu of the Diocese of Malaysia. They treated me as an adult, hung on to every word I said and made me feel 10 feet tall. More importantly, they told me stories of places and people I had never seen.

They probably thought that I was part of the B&B and felt obliged to be polite to the establishment. My dad and the visitors used to sit up late into the night discussing church affairs and politics, while I sat next to my dad pretending to understand everything, till I fell hopelessly asleep in his lap and had to be carried to bed.

The Parsonage, was home to my Mum , my Dad. It was also a home away from home to the 4 siblings that my Mum helped cross over from India and to the 15 of the 57 cousins , who grew up in Singapore. We may have lived in different houses, but my Mum’s Home was considered their Mother’s House . Many of my cousins were born in The parsonage, as were many babies of the Christ Church Congregation. For many years my Mum was the attending Obstetrician to most of the Indian Community.

Sam and I, went back to visit Singapore, after a fairly long spell away, with our teenagers Rekha and Anish. Sony my cousin, drove us to Keng Lee Road, after the 8 am service in Christ Church. He confessed that he never drove down that road much. I looked out of the window and I could not recognise anything. Everything looked different. Spruced up, modern and different. He slowed down, as we cruised down Keng Lee Road. He stopped at an ornate gate, that had a brass number plate, that indicated that it was 118 Keng Lee Road. The Parsonage, I remembered had no number plate . Everyone knew where the Parsonage was on Keng Lee Road.

I was having difficulty focusing on my surroundings. It was turning into an out of body experience, as I watched myself spin in disbelief and denial. The Parsonage was not there. My home was no longer there. In its place stood a magnificent modern multi storey house that I could not relate to at all. I felt so lost I could have cried. I insisted that we get down and meet the new owners and say hello.

I have to go in…. I cried
Don’t be silly, Susie…. said Sam
You can’t barge in and disturb people
They’ll think you’re mad!
I have to…. I said opening the car door.

Sony just laughed and said nothing at all.

We were welcomed extremely graciously, and fed and watered with traditional Indian courtesy. Though extremely polite, they were most bemused, to see a middle aged stranger,walk in unannounced, babbling on about the home she had lived in years ago.

Sony understood my bewilderment. He heard my heart break, as I lost the last Bastion, of the memories of my childhood, my Mum and my Dad. He knew what I was going through, as he was one of the 14 cousins who grew up with me in Singapore. He knew the enormity of my loss as much as I did. The Parsonage at 118 Keng Lee Road had been an anchor to all of us. A safe and secure safety net . It was home to us and to many others who had come to Singapore seeking employment.

Many had stayed with us, till they had found jobs and accommodation before they moved on to homes of their own. My Mum had delivered many of the Congregation Babies in the Parsonage. New brides who arrived in Singapore from India landed in the Parsonage. Couples started life in the Parsonage. Many a rocky marriage was counselled and rescued in the Parsonage. I could go on. And on. And so would many who knew my Mum and Dad and who had been part of their warmth and generosity, in transit in Singapore. The Parsonage at 118 Keng Lee Road, was much, much, more than a mere address.

Sam, understood a little, as he had stayed in the Parsonage, after we got married. The children were clueless and distinctly uncomfortable as their mother, proceeded to embarrass herself, prancing around the premises trying to recreate a cameo from the past.

Let’s go, Mummy…. the kids begged as they tugged at my hand.
Let’s go ,Come, Mummy …….What are you doing, Mummy….?!

Eventually, Sam, the kids and Sony had to remove me physically from 118 Keng Lee Road, before I made a maudlin fool of myself in front of absolute strangers.

I left 118 Keng Lee Road, for the last time, with mixed feelings.

I left, closing the door to a vital part of my life and development.

I left, mentally genuflexed, thanking God for His Infinite Mercy, Goodness and Love to all of us ….my Mum , my Dad, to me and to all the people who had touched our lives when we stayed at the Parsonage , at 118 Keng Lee Road.

Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot……

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