I was about six years old. We had moved to Allahabad, the latest in the series of my dad’s job postings. Initially we lived in the company guest house and soon we found a house. It was a fascinating house, huge, almost palatial. The man who owned it had, at one time owned 16 coal mines. He got a hefty settlement when the government nationalized those mines. So the house belonged to this rich, old gentleman who didn’t have to work for a living. He lived in the house with his son, daughter-in-law and toddler granddaughter. Part of the house was up for rent and we got it. I vaguely remember a conversation between my parents where my mom said something about not feeling very comfortable about the house. But my dad was all set to fly off to Abu Dhabi for a project and we had a to rent a house, quick. So we moved in. Dad left for the UAE and this left me and my pregnant mom alone in this new city. Our portion of the house was part of a larger home. 9 bedrooms in all, our 3 bedroom, living room, kitchen must have been guest’s quarters when the house was originally built.
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