Happy birthday, Anilodharani!


I’ve been remiss in not introducing our house so far. I hesitate to call it a farmhouse, as that conjures up images of a huge sprawling place with acres of lawn and maybe even a swimming pool. This house has two large bedrooms and bathrooms, a smallish living-dining-kitchen, and a verandah-courtyard. And that’s it. Except for the garage that houses our getaway car in case of an elephant invasion! Anyway this post, my tenth, is to mark its third birthday and introduce you all to Anilodharani, our home. The picture above shows the house, not quite complete, on a gorgeous day.

And here are some pictures of the interior.

2013-11-10-12-15-25                                 2013-11-10-12-05-52

The house is built of soil-cement, or stabilized mud, blocks, made on site. The floor is red oxide, but sadly a botched job. The roof tiles are locally made, and the doors are windows are recycled, from a 100-year old school building that was demolished in Tumkur. We love this place! Unfortunately, so do the mice, frogs and lizards, which somehow manage to sneak in despite our best efforts to keep them out. We wouldn’t even mind sharing space with the little critters if they would only stay alive. If you ask us, the only good mouse is a live mouse. But noooo… they will insist on dying in awkward places. They seem rather a feeble lot: so easy to catch-and-release. All I have to do when I see a mouse is to corner it next to a bucket or dustbin. It will then obligingly enter, and I can carry it out and tell it to stay out! But we’re taking a truckload of putty there one of these days to seal all the holes. Here’s one bright-eyed mouse in the kitchen sink, and don’t miss the little frogs on the name board below.


So… what’s in the name? Anil, in Sanskrit, means wind (literally, of no fixed residence). And Dharani is the earth. The word Anilo-dharani-dharah (upholder of wind and earth) is one of the thousand names of Vishnu, verse 25 of the Vishnu Sahasranamam. When we were thinking of names for the house, I came up with this. If you ever visit/ have visited, you will know how appropriate it is for this windy bit of earth. The idea was vetoed by my husband and daughters, who thought it sounded pompous. But the next morning, I went up on the roof, and the first sound I heard was the name Anilodharani, from the local temple where the Sahasranamam was being chanted. And if that’s not a message from the universe, I don’t know what is. Objections overruled!


Happy birthday, Anilodharani! May you bring fresh air and earth-love to every tree, animal and human around!


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