Posted by: cochinblogger | August 1, 2013

The Fall of Harbour View

Shoepics 060

Those of you who live in Cochin, do you know when our city was electrified? Of course, you could Google and find out, but I got this information from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. My 85-year-old father remembers going out to Irwin Park (Subhash Park today) one evening with his cousin, and returning home to find the house brightly illuminated with electric light. He was in the fifth standard, and the year was 1937. According to him, much of the credit for the electrification should go to the then Diwan of Cochin, Shanmukham Chetty, who was appointed in 1935, one year before the more famous C. P. Ramaswami Iyer was appointed Diwan of Travancore. Shanmukham Chetty was also the first finance minister of independent India. It was a little after Cochin that Trichur was electrified.

1937 was also the year in which a grand housewarming party was thrown for a new house in our neighborhood, Harbour View. There were day-long celebrations. The owner of the house was Dr. Puthuran, a doctor with an MBCHB from England. He was a good human being who would often treat poor patients for free, and his wife had a similar disposition. My father remembers visiting the house and playing with the doctor’s children and attending birthday parties there.

Late one evening, the doctor was returning from Rama Varma club after a game of billiards, when he collapsed on Club Road. It was some time before anyone noticed him lying on the road, and by then it was too late. The year was 1947.

The photo above shows Harbour View today. Such is life.


  1. Nice post. Thank you.

    • I see it’s up for sale….

  2. This was a house full of childhood memories for my mother, her 3 sisters and us grandchildren for a very long time. Dr.Puthuran was my great grandfather and this is the house where generation after generation family came together and made some amazing memories. It all came to an abrupt end when my grandfather passed and my grandmother couldn’t take care of the house on her own and it was eventually sold. I like to remember this house by the stunning walkway covered with rose bushes on either ends and trellis filled with jasmine flowers. My grandfather’s Holden car parked in the driveway and my grandmother waiting eagerly with her arms open to give me a big tight hug. The air filled with the amazing smells of her yummy cakes and Achappams. My mom was able to re-create this magnificent house and bring it back to life in her oil painting and I hope to have it on my wall for my children and theirs to see and imagine what a grand childhood we had because of this house that we called home!

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