Tucked away in a little alleyway in the heart of Kannur city in Kerala, India is a house that was built way back in 1959 called “Rafeghar”. This quaint little house was built by a man for his 5 children, his wife and himself when they had to move away from another town called Mahe. This house was often the central meeting point for everyone in the extended family to come and socialize. As years went by, the house started to get smaller as the children grew up, got married and started families of their own.
In about a years time, this house will no longer exist. It will be torn down to make room for new houses to accommodate new families. This was my attempt to document some of the artifacts of the house and try and preserve some of the memories.
The first thing that strikes you when you walk into this house is the roof. You don’t see houses like this anymore. The roof is made out of hard, solid wood, and so is the furniture. None of that cheap plastic or particle board stuff you see nowadays. Obviously over the years the technology in the house has been upgraded to support better lighting, for example.
The house has a lot of stories to tell. There are photographs hung up all over the house from a time gone by. Some photographs are over forty years old. The photograph on the right is of the father of the owner of the house. The clock itself has been on that wall for over fifty years.
Another photo on the walls is this one taken in the 70s. Its a group photo taken in front of the Kannur Railway station.
A gramophone rests in the corner of one of the bedrooms. As you’ll see later, music was a significant part of this household.
The architecture in this house is very similar to what was found around that time period. Panels and switchboards were added in later when electricity was available.
This is one of my favorite things that I found in the house. Its a custom-printed notebook that belonged to the father of the house and contained records of every vinyl that existed in the house.
Each vinyl was labelled and a corresponding entry was made in this journal, along with other information such as the name of the artist, the name of the songs etc.
There were cupboards and shelves stacked with old vinyls. Most of the vinyls were grouped together and labelled.
More vinyls, some of them wrapped in newspaper.
The view when looking outside into the courtyard. The house is surrounded by greenery from all sides. I can almost picture the mother of the house waiting outside by the entrance for her husband or children to come home.
I’ve only visited this house twice but it’s saddening when you realize that this house will soon disappear. This house reminds me of my great-grandmother’s house that I used to visit as a child, which was also torn down recently. When I was younger, the house held no significant importance to me. It was just a house I visited whenever I went back home. It’s only when I got older that I started missing the old house.
Nostalgia can be very powerful.