Scotts bungalow, Seringhapatam with grandpa 1999
My grandpa told me of a trip he once took to the isle of Seringhapatam when he was in the scouts; he said he was fifteen years of age at the time so he must have made that journey in 1929. He was most excited as a teenager that whilst visiting the place where the warrior Tippoo Sultan finally fell in battle in 1799, that he had also found Scott’s bungalow on the banks of the Cauvery River.
He convinced himself that this lonely bungalow must have belonged to a branch of the Scott family. I made this return journey with him on a long road trip with Vicki Couchman from our base in Bangalore in an old and beautiful black ambassador car.
When we left Bangalore on that November morning in 1999 we never even knew if the old bungalow would still be standing. To this day I really have no idea how the three of us managed to find that bungalow but after several hours spent on busy dangerous main roads and as much time again driving down uneven dirt roads with grandpa’s light frame bouncing up and down on the springy front seat, we managed to find the bungalow at the end of a muddy path. At one stage our car sunk in to the deep brown mud the wheels spinning round and round until we freed eventually ourselves, we were just metres away from our destination.
We were greeted by an old lady called Yvette who welcomed us on to the land but not into the bungalow, which was now her home, I believe she purchaced the bungalow in 1985. She didn’t seem too surprised to see people, the old bungalow has drawn visitors for two century’s now. She was kind and helpful, though now I wish I had pressed her more, I would have loved to be allowed to look inside the imposing property it appeared to hold memories from the distant past.
My grandpa walked to the front of the house then walked down to the banks of the river and sat on the steps that led down to it; I walked down to the rivers edge and was immediately syringed by a mosquito of Jurassic proportions. I killed its blood filled body with a single swipe to my arm, its proboscis was an inch in length and a lump the size of a small egg grew on my arm in the following seconds. It is not surprising that any length of time spent near this bungalow two hundred years ago could prove to be fatal.
I am convinced now that the bungalow had nothing to do with our family history although after looking in the colonial grave yard that is very close to the bungalow, there were a number of graves that had the surname of Scott chiseled into them. A common name in those days, as it still is today.
Jason Scott Tilley