At first, she said to us “You could come take a look if you like, but really only the outside of my home is Malayali. I’m not sure if there’s anything inside that’s Keralite except the inhabitants!”
We went anyway. And in conversation and through questions, more and more little aspects of the home were revealed that reflected an almost unconscious connection with Malayali roots.
The most striking feature of the home is the entrance; a large wooden door at a little verandah – flanked by two large, carved Kerala pillars. The back verandah of the house also has it’s set of pillars opening up into a garden. Kerala bamboo, low potted plants and a Malayali grinding stone brighten up the verandah and the little garden in front of the house.
Walking through the door leads us into a large drawing room with low, dark wooden furniture. Two typically Keralite chairs sit angled towards each other in front of a large window creating a cozy little conversation corner. A large iron chest – the kind that Kathakali dancers would store their elaborate makeup and costumes in – lies unobtrusively at the foot of the chairs.
Around the house, we were shown more and more Malayali touches. The center coffee table, covered with photographs of her two beautiful daughters, carries little Keralite artifacts as decoration.
A large wooden spoon holder – typical of traditional Malayali households – adorns one wall. A Kerala style mirror is placed on the wall at the foot of a grand staircase and Malayali earthen pots and utensils were places on the dining table, holding tapioca and banana chips for her guests.
We thought it was beautiful to see how a culture can be so deep rooted that one doesn’t even realise where it makes its way into our styles and aesthetics.
This Onam, we wanted to celebrate the Keralite touch, and we couldn’t have found a more charming home!
Happy Onam, everyone! Now, where’s the Sadhya?