Noted writer M Mukundan has secured a special place in the literary history of Kerala by creating some of the most iconic characters. He is often touted as ‘Mayyazhiyude Kathakaran’ (the story teller of Mayyazhi) as his novels celebrate the unique culture of Mayyazhi, a former French colony. It’s only been two months since Mukundan moved into his brand new house at Pallur which is just 4 kilometres away from the banks of the Mayyazhi River which he has made immortal through his successful novels.
The house at Mahe was quite special as the veteran writer had shared a unique relationship with it. Though it was constructed almost two and a half decades ago, Mukundan had moved into that house just 15 years ago, after returning from Delhi. From literary stalwarts like MT Vasudevan Nair and Punathil Kunjabdulla to renowned film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and photographer Nick Ut, many have enjoyed the warm hospitality of that beautiful abode. It was at the writing table there that Mukundan had created some of his best loved works and characters. However, whenever there is a block in Mahe town, the traffic would be diverted through the small Bharatiyar road in front of Mukundan’s house. Mukundan complains that the bustle of the speeding vehicles and the occasional accidents had spoiled the calm atmosphere of the area. That is when he decided to shift to a place where he could enjoy some quite and peace of mind. He didn’t have to look too much for such a place as the plot at Pallur, which is an ancestral property, was the perfect spot.
The elevation features a classy combination of traditional and contemporary styles. The blend of flat and sloped roofs in multiple layers and the amazing wall claddings are the highlights of the elevation. Designed in 2840 sqft, this spectacular abode has a car porch, sit out, formal and family living areas, dining area, kitchen with a work area, three bedrooms and a spacious library.
Mukundan wanted a special place where he could neatly keep the countless awards and mementos that he had won over the years. The state and the central Sahitya Academy awards and the prestigious Ezhuthachan Award enjoy the pride of place on this shelf. The wall beside Mukundan’s study room has been turned into an open show case where the awards are exhibited. This shelf is highlighted by pasting limestone wall cladding. Meanwhile, he wanted to recreate the unique feel of his old writing area in the new house too. So, the old writing table and the book shelves have been reused here.
Natural materials have been mostly used for furnishing. Polished kota stones are used for flooring inside the house. Meanwhile, natural stones are paved in the front yard to allow rain water to seep into the ground.
Lots of windows line the walls to bring cool air and natural sunshine abundantly into the house. Besides, the skylight on the double height ceiling in the stair area illuminates the interiors with bright sunshine in the day and enchanting moonlight in the night.
The master bedroom is in the ground floor while two bedrooms are in the upper floor.
The kitchen is furnished in the popping greenish blue color theme. The cabinets are done in plywood with laminate finish. The counter top, meanwhile, is paved with Korean stone. The glass tiles on the splash back add a unique sheen to the kitchen.
The couple’s children are settled in the US with their respective families. So, the spaces are designed to make maintenance easier for Mukundan and his wife. They can climb up to the water tank in the roof area, quite seamlessly.
Mukundan is currently busy turning his renowned short story ‘Autorishawkarante Bharya’ into a movie script. Suraj Venjaramoodu and Manju Warrier would be playing the lead roles in this movie. Mukundan says he is already enjoying the calm atmosphere around the house. Though he misses his favorite Mayyazhi River, Mahe church and the Bharatiyar Road that has become characters in his many novels, Mukundan is relieved that they are just 4 kilometers away and he could always visit whenever he wants. An evening walk on the banks of the Mayyazhi River had been a habit until the pandemic situation worsened. Mukundan has arranged a walk way around his new house too so that he wouldn’t miss his regular exercise. The couple has begun growing a beautiful garden in the yard that has already become home for countless birds and butterflies.
Location – Pallur, Mahe
Plot – 14 cents
Area – 2840 SFT
Owner – M Mukundan
Design – Dayan, Manoj
DM Associates, Mahe
Mob – 9447341793
Year of completion – 2020 December
Pictures – Ajeeb Komachy