Bharathiyar House, Ettayapuram
The century-old house is vaguely similar to his home in Triplicane, Chennai bunched with the rest of the row houses, its pyol reaching out to us from under the inviting shade of a sloping roof. The house has thick, wooden doors and is about 150 years old. Once you enter the wonderfully cool, low-ceilinged house, (the upper portion is not accessible) you will find a bust of the poet in a cordoned off area — the spot where he was born in 1882.
To see the humble beginnings of this great man was worth the long-winded search for his house. The poet's handwritten poems, letters and speeches are encased in a wooden cupboard with a glass top, the slants and serifs of his Tamil font visibly clear on the yellowing paper. The walls bear evidence of his glory, covered as they are with his poems, photos and awards. There are family portraits, photos of him with freedom fighters and framed black-and-white photographs of his descendants.
Now it is a museum of Mahakavi Bharathi. It is in this house, his maternal uncle Sambasiva Iyer used to live. Mr Sambasiva Iyer himself was a Patriot and his family, children and grandchildren are now spread throughout the globe.