Integrative Seminar – Fontainhas

The following essay is based on my most-loved place. I’ve tried writing it in “third person”.



The place that Atika is most attached to, is her home in Fontainhas. Fontainhas is a heritage place and most houses there are pretty old. The reason Atika is so attached to this place was because she spent the first four years of her life there. This house only had one storey (bungalow?), with four rooms, a hall, a narrow kitchen and two bathrooms. It belonged to Atika’s paternal grandmother. It had a well in its backyard and Atika vividly remembers how, even during the hot summers, the water in the well would manage to remain cool and fresh.

Atika loved the study room, where her father would sit for hours working on the computer. This study room had been converted into a playroom for Atika. Her mother had stuck fun foam stickers on the wall, just to make this otherwise boring room come to life. It was a narrow room with a sofa-bed pushed towards the wall. Atika remembers how it would always be dusty, no matter how much anybody tried to clean it up. The dust from the be (word missing?) always made Atika break into an allergy. This room had a door which opened into the backyard, as well as a tiny window. Atika loved playing with the little nest that a sparrow had made at the corner of the window frame. Everyday after playschool, Atika would come home and assess the progress made by the sparrow in constructing her new nest. No matter what, Atika would never let her maid touch the nest. Atika’s father loved listening to different genres of music and he had, what Atika thought, was the world’s most amazing collection of CDs.

The living room was very simple. It had a box TV at the corner placed on a low wooden table that ran along both the adjacent walls at the corner. It had an inbuilt showcase under the table as well as a separate one next to it.  The showcase housed a myriad of dusty old show pieces. Atika admired the miniature ceramic blue-eyed doll, that a relative had gifted as a souvenir from France. She lived in this villa with her parents, her paternal grandmother and her aunt. Her grandmother always made sure there were fresh flowers sitting on the table top every single day. Jumping from one leather sofa to the other was Atika’s favorite pass time. The living room had giant French windows. There was no generator in the house, so whenever there was a power cut, Atika’s mother would light fragile white wax candles on the window sill.

Atika loved picking at the hardened wax that dripped on the window sill.

From the living room there was an entry into the dining room. The fridge in the dining room was mint green with silver handles. It was always overfilled with utensils full of food and beverages of sorts. The dining table was pushed towards the wall and had a simple laminate for a surface. There was always a tray filled with jars of jam and pickle kept at the corner of the table.

Through the dining room, there was an entry into the first room. Half of this room was mainly used as store room. The other half had a sewing machine at one end and a little alter on the other. This room had a window that over-looked the backyard with the well and a little laundry area.

On the other side of the dining room was the narrow kitchen area, which had a tiny step. Atika would love to sit at the foot of the step and watch her mother cook. The wash area of the kitchen also opened into the backyard. The passage continued until the other end of the house which had the toilets. There was a little pantry right outside the kitchen, in the middle of the passage. Atika took great pleasure in looking at the humungous steel canisters, filled with different grains and pulses. There was a little door, opposite the pantry across the passage, which opened into a tiny area which had numerous bookshelves and showcases full of crystal glass work. When the lights of the showcase were turned on, the crystal glass would sparkle and resemble diamonds. This area also had a dusty old carpet on the floor with two small tables on either side of the door which opened up into the master bedroom.

The master bedroom was simple. It had a bed in the center, with two wooden wardrobes behind, and a smaller aluminum one at the corner. On the other side of the door there was a small, square dressing table with a rectangular mirror mounted high up. It was always a struggle for Atika to look at her reflection in this mirror. It had a little shelf with different products and huge bottles of talcum powder. All along the room there were little tables with beautiful crochet work as well as old fashioned ceramic vases placed over them. In one corner of the room, there were huge glass jars full of marbles of different colours and sizes.

This room had a door which opened into the room that Atika shared with her parents. Atika loved the spherical paper lanterns that hung above the bed in the corner. The fact that these lights hung at different levels really fascinated Atika. This room had two windows–one, which overlooked the main street and the other, which overlooked the garage. It also had a door which opened into the hall. There was also a huge wooden wardrobe right opposite the bed.

Moving into another house broke Atika’s heart. She missed the fact that she could no longer spend endless hours staring at the street in front of her and observe other people’s activitie


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