Ageing with charm

Vintage House

Ageing with charm

 The living room.

Usha Kumar’s 115-year-old house stands majestically tall near Richard’s Park. But age has rendered it fragile as well. “My son once played loud music and suddenly, a small bit of the ceiling gave way and fell to the floor. The wooden beams  that beautifully decorate the ceiling sometimes vibrate when we play loud music but the structure largely remains sturdy and strong,” says Usha Kumar, who inherited the house from her father about 10 years ago.

Her twin sons Akhilash and Nickilash are proud of their privilege to be staying in a vintage house. 

“No posh, plush bungalow will match up to the charm and elegance this house carries. The ceiling is so high that you’d never ever feel hot and when the weather is cool, this house makes the interiors even cooler,” says Nickilash.

Almost immediately, his twin chips in: “We can’t count the number of parties and barbecues we have held on the lawns of this house. We play cricket and have broken a couples of windows as well.”

The twins have their own music band called Soldering and say most practices and jamming sessions happen in the large spacious compound of the house and they’ve even converted the outhouse into a jamming room. “The noise was unbearable and I just had to give the boys another room to blast their music,” says Usha.

The house sports tiny Ganesha idols in every corner: the drawing room, the bedrooms, the Puja room and the dinning. Usha, incidentally, is a Ganesha collector and has 133 images of the lord in all sizes.

Usha says she has not made much modification to the house. The old electric connection, the Russian door knobs, the switches, the doors and windows in British style remain the same. “We have only done up the flooring and the cemented the ceiling to prevent leakage,” she explains. At least three families were living at one point of time in the house spread over 10,000 plus sq feet. 

The twins say that they will never trade the house for anything. “The house is more precious to us than anything and the kick one gets from staying here is inexplicable. We never ever keep our doors closed. The ample lighting, good cross ventilation and the large spacious feel are something that you will never find in any modern residence,” says Nickilash.

Usha says the house brings in a whiff of the country side with its sound of chirping birds, the squirrels and the sweet smell of flowers and musambi, tamarind, mango trees. “Of course rats, termites and other insects do creep in, but they all come with old houses. That’s no hassle at all,” says Usha.

The furniture, comprising teak and rose wood, too remain largely British style. 

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