When the ideologies of a steadfast realist meet the idiosyncrasies of a homemaker, the end result can either be disastrous or beautiful. And in the case of Manjula Narsa’s house, the result is spectacular!
Located in the midst of the busy streets of Banjara Hills is Manjula Narsa’s three storied house ‘Eshaniya’. Unaffected by traffic or the hustle and bustle of its surroundings, her house, like she says is “so close yet so far” from the streets below. A drive up the spiral ramp and we reach the entrance of the house. To the right is the car park where a slick silver Beamer sits and the spot beside it is belongs to her beautiful Rolls Royce. To the left is the entry way to the house where she receives us with a warm welcome.
While showing us around we ask her about the design of the house and she tells us that Sudheer Associates were the architects who designed the house while the décor and interiors were entirely done by her. “I was hands on during the entire construction, right from the Bhumi Puja to the finishing touches.” Even though her husband Narsaiah Maddey is into construction and a firm believer in Vaastu as is her sister, Manjula likes to keep it at an elementary level. “I understand the need to harness good energies and allow their flow and live in relative harmony, but when it comes to Vaastu, I wouldn’t care to take it to a ridiculous level of engagement,” she says.
On the ground floor is the living room, an open kitchen and one bedroom. It also has one small puja room that divides the front room into two parts. On one side is a small single seater lounge chair and a centre table made from pots with a glass top. It also has a light installation in the middle of the room made from wire and resembles the branches of a tree. The other side has two plush chairs and a fire place; behind it is a wall done up with ply with hieroglyphics imprinted on it.
The first floor has two bedrooms, a balcony and a family room. “We used to have a garden in the balcony but due to leakage problems we had to have it removed,” Manjula informs us. The family room has minimalistic décor but the roof is done up in colonial style. Teak wood beams hold up the roof in this room and is a pattern used throughout this floor. The second floor has the terrace on one side and a media room on the other. Again, the interiors are minimalistic allowing the 15-feet wide home theatre screen to be the star of the show. “When the family is together, we end up watching television here, which only makes us not want to use the TVs in our rooms because we are spoilt by this elaborate theatre-like set up,” she tells us.
The beauty of the ground floor lies in the French windows that show off Manjula’s wonderful garden that’s neatly maintained and the flowers are in full bloom. “The garden is my favourite part of the house. I enjoy sitting there a lot. Right from the moment I come down in the morning to any spare time I have, I spend it amongst my plants. It is said that fragrances can transport you to another time and that’s exactly what I experience in my garden. My childhood memories are refreshed, the warm scented breeze and the chirping of birds all create an atmosphere of such gratitude and joy. It is priceless,” she says.
Inspired by Raseel Gujral’s juxtaposing the classic with the trendy and mixing white light with yellow, Manjula shares with us what she’s done with the house. “I loved the idea of bringing in elements of nature into play, and luckily, my architect was in concurrence with bringing the outdoors inside from every window around the house”. For this homemaker who firmly believes in humanity as a religion and spirituality as a way of life, it is only understandable why her style of decorating the house is done in minimalistic ways and why she loves open spaces.