Stories From My Home – 7: Appa and Thomas the Tank Engine


We don’t always have to travel to seek stories; they are right there in our homes too. In “Stories From My Home“, I examine the many objects surrounding me at home and attempt to document and share the memories associated with them, one story at a time.


What do you want from London, Appa?

Can you get me Thomas the Tank Engine? A model, a book, anything to do with him.

I wasn’t surprised at what my Appa wanted. He was crazy about the railways, trains, engines and everything associated with them. He loved watching the animated series on Thomas the Tank Engine and I used to love watching him watch the series on TV and giggle away.

So that’s what I got for Appa when I returned from London in 2009 after a year-long stay — a small model of Thomas and a book with illustrations of all the engines and characters in the series. I got him other things too, but once he saw Thomas, nothing else mattered. The look of delight on Appa’s face when I gave it to him is something that I will never forget.

Appa passed away in on this day in 2011. effects. One day, shortly after Appa’s death. a friend and his 3-year-old son visited us. The kid turned out to be a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine and it wasn’t too difficult a decision for Amma and me to give the engine and the book to him. It felt right. 8 years have passed since then. The kid is now 11 and still has the engine and the book we gave him, and Appa’s love for Thomas and trains and engines is an oft repeated story among people who knew him.

Some time back, when I visited my favourite bookshop Kitab Khana, I came across a book on 56 illustrated stories of Thomas the Tank Engine. I picked a copy for myself, supposedly in Appa’s memory, but till I read it from cover to cover I didn’t realise how much his enthusiasm and love for Thomas had rubbed off on me !

Thomas the tank engine, Toy, Trains, railways

I can imagine Appa having a hearty chuckle and saying proudly, “That’s my daughter.”


Stories From My Home: Meenakshi’s lamp | The box of coins | The photographs in the envelope | Bala’s oil pot | The girl on the swing | Captain sandal face powder | Appa and Thomas the Tank Engine |


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