Photo foray: One house with a lot to say

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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.