When Tra­di­tion Comes Back To Life

Distinguished Magazine - - CONTENTS - ANIRUDH MAD­HAV

As a lover of tra­di­tion and due to its emo­tional at­tach­ment, Ra­jesh de­cided to ren­o­vate the 70-year-old an­ces­tral house with his own ideas, as well as in­puts from his wife.

When NRI Ra­jesh Puthusseri ac­quired his wife’s pa­ter­nal house named Keezhu­veetu valap­pil (Sai Sadan) in Amet­tikara, a vil­lage town lo­cated in Palakkad, Ker­ala, the 70-year old house was in a de­crepit con­di­tion. As a lover of tra­di­tion and due to its emo­tional at­tach­ment, Ra­jesh de­cided to ren­o­vate the house

The 5200 sq. feet house built in an area of 40 cents (8 grounds) with three floors has been brought to life with mi­nor mod­i­fi­ca­tions. The cou­ple took in­tense care in terms of re­tain­ing the old charm of the house de­spite all the mod­ern ad­di­tions that were es­thet­i­cally fit­ted into the tra­di­tional house. Keezhu­veetu valap­pil (Sai Sadan) was built in an an­cient ar­chi­tec­tural style known as tachu saas­tram and in kol kanaku, a type of mea­sure­ment. The ground floor had an L-shaped veran­dah in the ground that led into the din­ing room through a foyer. On one side of the foyer, two bed­rooms and puja rooms are lo­cated and the kitchen, store room and work area are lo­cated next to the din­ing room. A row of cylin­dri­cal pil­lars sur­round the veran­dah. On the first floor, the veran­dah leads us into three bed­rooms on one side and a smaller bed­room on the other side. On the third floor, there were two spa­cious halls. These were the lux­u­ries of the an­cient house.

Post-ren­o­va­tion, the veran­dah sur­round­ing the house, the rows of pil­lars and the tiled room were re­tained in tra­di­tional style. The pil­lars have been given a mod­ern touch with squared pil­lars and the front area of the house has been laid with baby metal. The main en­trance now leads us to the draw­ing room which is in­ter­con­nected to the puja room and the liv­ing room. The foyer has been re­moved by cre­at­ing a par­ti­tion, thereby in­creas­ing the size of the two bed­rooms. The ceil­ing in the draw­ing room has been fur­nished with wooden pan­els and the main door, win­dows and other doors have been brought to life after pol­ish­ing.

The fur­ni­ture in the liv­ing room and the teapoy has been made from the old wood in the house. The wall ad­join­ing the TV unit space has got a cladding tiles high­light with a wooden carv­ing of Kr­ishna. A mu­ral paint­ing by Ra­jesh also adorns the wall ad­join­ing the TV unit. A space has been cre­ated in­side the wall to place the house de­ity and cu­ri­oes been strate­gi­cally placed in a sim­i­lar style in the wall ad­join­ing the sofa. Soft yel­low lights add a vin­tage feel to the cu­ri­oes.

An open­ing has been made through the veran­dah in the first floor and a slit in the roof en­sures that sun­light reaches the liv­ing room. The shape of the din­ing room has been al­tered, com­plete with con­crete roof­ing. The old sys­tem of draw­ing wa­ter from a well has been re­tained. The thudi, a wooden bar used in the mech­a­nism of draw­ing wa­ter stands is one of the high­lights of the house. While the old house had 3 bed­rooms in the first floor, it has been mod­i­fied to cre­ate two bed­rooms with pol­ished wooden ceil­ings, enough ven­ti­la­tion and bath area. The wooden lad­der, which ear­lier linked the foyer to the first floor, has now been re­placed with stairs that start from the din­ing room. Gran­ite and tiles have now re­placed the red ox­ide floor­ing while the wiring and plumb­ing have been done from scratch. The high­light of the ren­o­vated house lies in the fact that the tachu saas­tram style of con­struc­tion has been re­tained, and the use of tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als. The ren­o­va­tion cost alone amounted to Rs 1.1 crore, and ac­cord­ing to Ra­jesh, “we have in­vested enough time and ef­fort that was needed to build a new house”. The dis­tinct­ness of the house lies in the preser­va­tion of an­cient charm that has been brought to life with a mod­ern touch, with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the tra­di­tional as­pects.

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