Arts Reverie, a wonderful house in Ahmedabad

March 7, 2010

Hard to do this house justice in words! Tis such a delight and haven. Tis an old house, restored by the French, nestled at the end of a pol. From my little desk at an upstairs window I can watch the goings on of the neighbourhood in an enclosed courtyard. 

Desk by the window

It is lovely to hear the everyday sounds of the pol; kids playing cricket, people ringing the bell to the Jain temple, morning washing at the outside taps, pigeons at the bird feeder, scooters and neighbours chatting. There are several roaming cows, who seem to survive on household scraps, chipmunks, occasional monkeys on the roof and some very territorial dogs. 

View from the window

 The house is lovely and cool, so well designed. There is a central courtyard effect inside the house which sucks cool air up through the roof. The floor downstairs is plastered with fresh cow dung every two months; it works amazingly well as a flooring! Upstairs the floors are tiled beautifully with clay tiles or mosaic china. There is a deep mosaic bath that could fit 3 people. There are interconnecting doors and windows throughout the inside, all painted bright colours with coloured glass. And there are many little corners where you can sit and read/write etc. Upstairs there is a large studio and roof terrace with views out over the pol. I feel like I am in a movie being here! 

Interior of house

Downstairs shrine

Corner upstairs

 I suppose because of being such a part of the pol, I don’t feel like going out much yet. Am content to sit and watch, write, draw. have been out, but it is lovely to come ‘home’. The two staff here, Mohin and Devi are so patient and helpful too. They have cooked us some delicious Gujarati meals. 

Devi Lal waiting in doorway when I came home

 Oh and the little details like the wall paintings, and nooks and crannies filled with curious objects and artworks left by previous visitors. I am sitting here now in the evening looking out at the goings on below, in this brightly coloured wooden house filled with atmosphere and it all  feels a bit like Frida Kahlo goes east! 

Wall painting in niche

Upstairs hall


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