Realtors eye owners' pride

Realtors eye owners' pride

Sameena Sait’s bungalow.

While realtors eye the charming old buildings with avarice, the showbiz want to have their film and model shoots done there. The realtors are ready to pay 10 to 15 per cent above market rates, while producers are ready to shell out lakhs of rupees for a few hours shoot in the buildings.

Vintage building owners are constantly stalked by big money and great publicity. It is like they’re stuck between the devil and the deep sea. But their love for the structures stem out of a certain emotional and aesthetic attachment. They find shunning realtors easy as the price offered is basically to pull down the structure and build a concrete monster in its place. However, the marquee wallahs are a different kettle of fish altogether.

The producers make it clear that they are in love with the vintage structures for what they are. They offer lakhs of rupees and leave the premises in a condition it was given after a few hours of shoot. But the few vintage building owners who waver by the offer of money and publicity, have had a lot to regret later.

More often than not, the shoot time gets extended. The premises is in a mess by the time the unit leaves. Most owners feel that apart from the attraction of a charm of an old house those coming in for shoots don’t really respect or value the people living in that house. “There was this one time when a fashion designer who is a big name in the City barged into our house asking that the frontal of the house be let out for a short shoot. We agreed after much thought and finally when the shoot happened, not only did they overshoot the time but the roads were blocked for more than an hour,” says Lakshminarayan who stays on Davis Road. “Finally, we had to rope in the police to clear the area,” he added.

 Ajit has had a tough time warding off builders and producers who are constantly after him for his 80-year-old house. He has been asked if he would part with his property for a good sum of money over and above the market price. Tempting indeed, but Ajit asks the builders if they could give him a similar property instead. That is enough to send the builders out.

Shooting is something Ajit will never permit in his house. “We are a fairly conservative family and we are among those who would not like to inconvenience our neighbours and attract undue attention and publicity,” he says.

Sameena Sait’s 100-year-old house always makes strangers stop by and ask her whether she can rent it out for a few hours for shoots. “My father once asked if they could pay Rs three lakh for an hour and they walked away with a smirk. People must understand that this is a private space and they can’t just walk in and demand whatever they want. It amounts to trespassing and prosecution,” says Sameena.

 It is the charm and elegance that attract people to zero in on old structures. Designer Manoviraj Khosla says he has shot in Bangalore and in Goa, “It’s the sheer charm these old bungalows carry that attract one. These houses carry a character all of its own and it adds to the uniqueness,” he says.

Photographer Waseem Khan who also shoots at old houses in the City is thrilled that the owners of old houses have taken pains to retain the charm of these disappearing spaces. “There’s something about the walls, furniture and niches in the house that make for some dramatic lighting and they smack of artistic renditions all of their own. It makes for an excellent final frame,” he concludes.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry