CHENNAI: Revisiting one’s long-sold ancestral house is always nostalgic. The experience is out of the world when the person offering you a tour of the house is the State’s Chief Minister himself. Hardly many would dream of such a trip down the memory lane. But, eighty-six-year-old Saroja Sitharaman from the US can boast of such an experience for time immemorial.
Yes. Chief Minister M K Stalin on Sunday offered a tour of his dad Karunandhi’s Gopalapuram house to Saroja Sitharaman after learning through media reports that she wanted to revisit the ancestral house. Like a patient guide offering a tour of a palace, Stalin took Saroja and her family room-by-room throughout the Gopalapuram house. His father Muthuvel Karunanidhi had bought the house from Saroja’s grandfather Sarabeswarar in 1955.
Recalling the circumstances under which her grandad sold the house to the Dravidian stalwart, who went on to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five times thereafter, Saroja said, “We were living in Gopalapuram since age 6. Then I got married in 1955. We sold the house to Karunanidhi and sought two month time to hold the marriage in the house. He agreed. He also attended the marriage.”
“Since then I have wanted to visit the house. I have come after 67 years. When we tried to take a glance from the entrance, the CM took us on a tour one room after another. Not much has been changed in the house. I cannot forget it,” a jubilant Saroja said.
“The Chief Minister also offered burfi, vadai and coffee. He was very hospitable. He spoke well. We invited him to the US. They should live well. My blessings are always there for the CM. He should be healthy and happy, ” the octogenarian added.
Posting a message about the tour on his Twitter handle, Stalin said, “House is a dream for many. The happiness a person derives while buying a dream house is incalculable. The house becomes a part of the family and turns out to be an identity. Gopalapuram house is the identity of our family. It is the manifestation of Kalaignar’s writing capacity in the film industry.”
“The house was related not just to us, but to another family too. Kalaignar bought the house from Sabeswarar in 1955. His granddaughter’s wedding was scheduled for June of the same year. Kalaignar agreed to Sarabeswarar holding his granddaughter’s wedding in the house despite buying it. I learnt through the media that Saroja Seetharaman had come from the US to revisit the house she got married in. I took them to the Gopalapuram house. The house related to both families stood tall as a bridge of friendship, ” Stalin tweeted, posting photographs of his sharing offering a tour to Saroja and family.