Photo foray: One house with a lot to say

About a fifteen-minute drive from my house reside my relatives — distant relatives, but relatives nonetheless. And fine people too. Their residence is a sprawling, 78-year-old, single-storey house built in 1935 British India: a place oozing welcomeness and carrying an ambiance (of what appeared to me during the couple of hours I spent there) of serenity and distance, yet closeness, to the urbanity of Mysore city.

The living room has an architecturally simple but rich feel to it
The living room has an architecturally simple but rich feel to it
A stairway from an inner room
A stairway from an inner room
What is at the end of the stairway
What is at the end of the stairway
Photographs like this enrich blank walls throughout the house: a glimpse into history even as we stand inside history itself
Photographs like this enrich blank walls throughout the house: a glimpse into history even as we stand inside history itself
A classic Murphy radio that I just might fancy more than my Tune In account
A classic Murphy radio that I just might fancy more than my Tune In account

The feel

I admire and am excited by everything vintage — I’ll readily step into a time machine taking me back to Victorian England — and this little visit was no different. I am indeed very grateful to them for allowing me to invade their privacy and shoot their house more or less unrestricted.

The first thing I saw as I entered the house: a bookshelf by a window
The first thing I saw as I entered the house: a bookshelf by a window
The near-perfect bedroom: voluminous, high-roofed and warmly lit
The near-perfect bedroom: voluminous, high-roofed and warmly lit
A side-view of the old house, looking South
A side-view of the old house, looking South
The Madras Sanskrit Academy (c. 1940)
The Madras Sanskrit Academy (c. 1940)
Looking up, towards the roof
Looking up, towards the roof

The look

A fine lawn covers most of the grounds around the place in which potted plants abound and a scatter of trees rise from down south. With glass doors opening to a cozy portico and a smaller, wooden one serving as the main entrance, the place oozes old school sophistication from the moment you step in.

Looking north
Looking north
The main entrance
The main entrance
Looking in through the side door
Looking in through the side door (see two pictures below)

It was luncheon hour and I hated to take anymore than half-an-hour but I found it quite easy to lose track of time once I was inside. And I hate to go on with words when I have a select few photographs I made there.

A catchy embossed modern artwork fits snugly into an old home; I have no further details about this, though
A catchy embossed modern artwork fits snugly into an old home; I have no further details about this, though
Side door inside
A side door
An elaborately styled rocking chair; my second favourite after the La-Z-Boy Rosita
An elaborately styled rocking chair; my second favourite after the La-Z-Boy Rosita

My work

My intention was to portray the house as it was: practically, not idealistically. That meant I had to suppress the artist in me to climb, crouch, lay prone and shoot from awkward angles and instead shoot more descriptive pictures. Again, more practical and less artsy ones.

Alright, one aesthetically incline photograph: excusable. High roof, three ventilators, one fan, all white, little black, nothing else. Oh, and the light.
Alright, one aesthetically inclined photograph: excusable. High roof, three ventilators, one fan, all white, little black, nothing else. Oh, and the light.

I could have turned the photographs inside out in post processing, but restricted myself there too. I hope I have done a better job of representing the near-century-old house than of digitally painting it.

The dining; with a cook book, I presume
The dining; with a cook book, I presume

Further, none of the rooms were set-up; I believe the house gets more life this way, if things are as they usually are in the middle of the day rather than being straightened out as if specially for a photo shoot. In any case, that is the way I prefer it.

Jog falls, by a famous painter whose name I (unfortunately) forgot
Jog falls, by a famous painter whose name I (unfortunately) forgot
Mt Nilkant and Bhadrinath in an old photograph of the famous Himalayan town
Mt Nilkant and Bhadrinath in an old photograph of the famous Himalayan town
An old chair that caught my eye. I wonder if it is as old as the house.
An old chair that caught my eye. I wonder if it is as old as the house.
And the living room again
And the living room again

The R.K. Narayan connection

Apart from the numerous old photographs, invaluable paintings, and nostalgic dolls pleasantly overwhelming anybody who walks into the living room was a little factoid that held my awe for long: this house was, apparently, where R.K. Narayan wrote one of his famous novels, The Guide. His room is pictured below:

Let us call this the R.K. Narayan room.
Let us call this the “R.K. Narayan room. “
From one of the doors
From one of the doors
RK Narayan - bed
More photographs and artwork above the bed
I like to think Narayan used to look out this window, thoughtfully, as he wrote his books
I like to think R.K. Narayan used to look out this window, thoughtfully, as he wrote his books

The time I spent here was memorable (I rarely make photographs otherwise!) and I hope the beautiful place stands tall ad infinitum.

The last time we struck from air, we fought a war. And we are doing it again.

Interesting things have been going on in Libya. And the most interesting of all, till date, is what prompted me to write this quick snippet.

Let me take you a few hours back: It was rumoured that, with France switching diplomatic status from the Gaddafi Government to the opposition groups, Spain and Portugal would follow suit. But BBC’s Sarah Rainsford clarified from Madrid that the Spanish Foreign Ministry has denied any such thing. { Continue }