Retaining its old charm

Vintage House

Retaining its old charm

Charming: The frontal of the house.

A buttery yellow and white home set in the midst of undulating fresh green lawns sits at the corner of Hayes Road. Many passers-by stop to admire the lovely, old colonial facade and remember the time when homes like these were not such a rare sight in the City.

“My parents Munawar and Haseem bought this house in 1978 so that we could be close to school which was Bishop Cottons. At that time it was leased by the army and
occupied by Brigadier Roy Chaudary. It took us a while to get full possession of the property which involved my father making several trips to the PM’s office in New Delhi,” says Ghazanfer Basha, who lives there with his wife, Farahdeeba and children.

His brother Khusroo and his wife Neda also live there with their kids and their two sisters now settled in Chennai have their own space reserved for their visits too. With so many children around, the lovely gardens and play areas are always abuzz with laughter and activity. The house itself was built in 1925 and the original foundation stone is still intact.

Set on 27,000 sq. ft of land there is plenty of  space for some discreet additions which the Bashas have made as the family grew and extended. A wrap around verandah and a beautiful porch mark the front of the house which also boasts of the typical monkey tops and wooden trellis work. The interiors have lovely high ceilings with Italian tiles and rich old floor tiles originally from England which have still retained their lustre. Even the iron girders that support the beams are part of the original construction with the name of the English foundry which manufactured them etched on the  sides. Plush: The interiors have been aesthetically touched up.

    “At first we thought that demolition was the only option as the house was in a poor state when we got it. However, looking at its gracious proportions and classic features, we decided to restore it as best we could, modernising the toilets and kitchens and making it comfortable for a growing household without losing its original charm. Even adding ceiling fans, a concession to the changing Bangalore weather, was something of an effort. We had to install them so they blended with the interiors and did not mar the high ceiling and tiles,” says Ghazanfer.

Being in the granite business many of their overseas clients are quite taken up with the house and laud their decision to restore and preserve it. Although it’s a large commitment and a lot of work to maintain as these cherished old properties generally are, the Bashas
are quite proudly conscious of the heritage value of the home they live in.

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