Tradition Recreated in a home in Palakkad.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tucked in the bylanes of Palakkad, in Kerala, stands the pristine white 'Shanti Vihar'. What's unique about this home is that is recreated in the traditional mould with contemporary means & material, the floors are vitrified tiles but the roof is traditional terracotta and in many places instead of wood, Mr. Jayashankar the contractor has used ferro-cement. So it is with such ingenious solutions that tradition is maintained in the modern context. The home belongs to Mrs Pratibha & Murali Menon and when I went to photograph the place I met her very gracious parents Mrs Shanta & Mr Haridas. This is one of the rare instances that I went to a home not knowing the hosts & with the sole purpose of covering it here on my blog. As I went from room to room taking pictures, the affable hosts made conversation with my uncle Dr Sharath who also happens to be their family doctor.

Traditionally & normally the 'Charupadi is made of wood. I was quite taken aback to be informed that this was ferro-cement treated to look like wood.
You enter into this oblong hall that is well fitted with antique and traditional accessories.

The house literally wraps itself around this prayer room, which forms a sanctum sanctorum of sorts.
I had to take a close up of this gorgeous "kerala mural painting"
The tiny gold bells that dot the door jingle piously when the doors open

On the way up the stairs, nestled on an antique corner shelf is a pretty jewellery box.
So much of what I think of when I think 'Kerala' comes together in this home.

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