By Rajkumar Bhavasar
Experiencing art on the walls of a museum or gallery is one thing, but to witness it on the walls of homes is another, far rarer opportunity. This home reflects a character. A character of art and it is intriguing too if you make an attempt to read the mind of the artists who built this home.
For anyone who’s ever wanted to talk through a painting or move around seeing bold and bright colours, artistic designs, mural art and even a traditional ‘Thotti Mane’, a visit to ‘Rajathadri’ on R.T. Nagar 20th Main Road, 28th Cross Road near New Water Tank, is a must. And the proud owners are K. Sangeetha, an art teacher at G.B. Saragur Government High School in H.D. Kote taluk and her husband N. Rajesh, who runs a Design & Event Management Studio in Kuvempunagar. The couple is blessed with two sons R. Sanshray, aged 14 and R. Samvatsar, aged 7.
A unique aspect of the house is the ‘Thotti Mane’ on the third floor. The floor has been structured around a sun-bathed courtyard and has an open-to-sky area used for multiple functional purposes besides offering scope for both natural light and ventilation to permeate the interiors.
The traditional ‘Thotti Mane’ essentially involved a sky-lit zone right in the midst of the house with rooms placed around it. The space around the sky-lit zone doubles up as the living area. Though built in contemporary style, this ‘Thotti Mane’ addresses the current lifestyle.
The beauty of ‘Thotti Mane’ in ‘Rajathadri’ is enhanced when rainwater directly enters it and droplets fall onto the small storage tank where a statue of Gauthama Buddha has been kept. While keeping the water level at the storage tank intact, the excess water is drained out and dedicated pipelines have been laid for that.
Traditionalism fills everywhere, be it the materials used to build the house where red bricks have been used in Kerala style and there is an enviable collection of brass vessels and this collection has enhanced the overall beauty. Each wall is full of art and architect Marina Prasad has designed the house to meet the expectations of the couple.
The main door of the house has been made in the style of old Mangaluru houses and it is 5.5 feet high. Hebbalasu (wild jack) tree wood has been used to make the doors and windows, maintaining the traditional aspect. Hand-made Athangudi mud tiles from Tamil Nadu have been laid on the floor to complement the walls and roofing.
Sangeetha, the lady of the house, had participated in the art and culture camp at Vadakkancheri in Kerala and had displayed her talent. In recognition, she was awarded a 4X4 Kerala-style mural. Taking back fond memories home, Sangeetha has placed the mural on the front wall of her house.
In 2021, Sangeetha received State- level Best Teacher Award and as part of this, her school at G.B. Saragur got Rs.50,000 and personally, she got Rs.10,000. Without thinking twice, Sangeetha donated the entire money to paint the walls of the school, demonstrating her love for the school.
The proud owners Rajesh and Sangeetha are the products of Sree Kalanikethana School of Art in Mysuru. G.B. Saragur Government School students Chandana and Bhavya, trained by Sangeetha, have won National Kalotsava contests.