Passage to memories

Passage to memories


Louise lives with her daughter Lalitha in one of the few houses left on Ware Road in Fraser Town, which was built by an Englishman named Ware in 1934. The charming old Bangalore home came into the family in 1966 and has retained much of its charm and old world appeal over the years oblivious to the changing neighbourhood and the City.

Characterised by ‘Jack Arches’, a popular architectural feature in those years, arches feature prominently both in the external and internal design elements of her home. The portico has one big and two small arches and so does the verandah. Even the passageway leading from the drawing to the dining room is gracefully arched. The walls are built with bricks and mortar and part of the roof in the rear is tiled. “My kitchen has a tiled roof and so do some of the outhouses at the back. They have never leaked in all these years speaking volumes about the quality of construction in those years. Except for some minimal alterations to the plumbing and kitchen, the house is virtually intact as the old character is very important to me. I even chose my kitchen tiles with a rustic pattern keeping this in mind,” says Louise.

The old wooden beams in the kitchen, the well-seasoned doors and windows, even the brass light switches which are periodically unscrewed and polished till the gleam came with the original house. The fan in the drawing room is nearly a hundred-years-old and matches the pieces of old carved pieces of period furniture made from carved rosewood that fill the rooms.

Louise has no desire to change the original cement floor and puts a great deal of effort into maintaining the original features of the place, however challenging the task maybe. Her garden is one of those large, rambling old Bangalore ones, full of anthuriums in different shades, rich red ‘crabs claws’, hexoras and seasonal blooms. Fruit trees like avocado, mango, custard apple, chickoo and guava spread themselves out through the grounds keeping the place cool and green even in summer.

“It is perfect for my two grandchildren Vikram and Jyotsna, when they come down every year from Goa. With both their parents being busy doctors, there’s nothing quite like spending idyllic summer holidays playing here with their bands of cousins who live in the City. These are the memories that childhood is built on,” she says.

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