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Mar 19, 2018-Monday
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Delhiwale: A forgotten mansion

We cannot knowledgeably speculate about the history of the bungalow so we simply soak in its fragile grandeur

delhi Updated: Feb 06, 2018 11:54 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
The bungalow on Kasturba Gandhi Marg.
The bungalow on Kasturba Gandhi Marg. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Every time we pass by this grand home we’re reminded of the opening line in a famed romantic novel — “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

Because, this magnificent bungalow on Kasturba Gandhi Marg really is the stuff of dreams. There’s that long drive and huge garden and, of course, a spacious porch. We can’t actually view the rooms but can easily envisage tall windows and high ceilings.

Sometimes, it all seems slightly spooky because nobody evidently lives here; just security guards taking it easy on the porch. Nor can we knowledgeably speculate about the bungalow’s long history. Perhaps a wealthy Colonial family with boisterous children played hide-and-seek in the gorgeous gardens…?

In any case, we refuse to conjecture about the story of the house. What matters is that it’s right here on a main avenue and anybody can stand on the pavement and gaze upon it.

We do know that the area was once regaled with numerous bungalows, but most have been replaced by high-rises. One of the remaining is this obvious masterpiece, but for how long?

So long as it’s there we’re all given a treat — an understanding about an earlier architecture while also deriving profound aesthetic pleasure when contemplating this thing of beauty.

Understandably, then, we’re often drawn to this grand place. We’re out there on the pavement at twilight when the waning rays of the sun shine on those yellowing walls, making them seem even more fragile.