Benny P Nayarambalam has an unwritten law, he will do the script for one movie a year. He is not one of those people who will hand over the script and then go home. Benny loves to be part of the discussions, and makes sure that he sees his stories all the way through - right to the screens at the cinema halls. And then, he will go to the next story. But when it came to constructing his own house, he handed over the responsibilities to his wife - Fulja
This is the story of the magic with which she transformed the 4500 sqft ancestral house they used to live in.
Nayarambalam is a small town which has now been linked to the Kochi mainland by the Goshree bridges. It was his father, Pathrose who constructed the old house more than 30 years ago.
Two years ago, Benny and the rest of the family decided that their house needed a face-lift. This is where Architect David Panjikaran and contractor Rajeev made their appearance.
The old house had three bedrooms, a kitchen and a dining area. They decided to take off the front walls of the house. They extended the front area. There was an extension done on the backyard too. In short, the old house is now inside the new house.
There is a huge mango tree which welcomes you to this house. There is a nice lawn and garden in front of the house.
There are two entrances in the front. Built of solid teakwood, the main door is a work of art. There is a door to the left which is also the entrance to Benny's office room. The cupboards are decked up with his various medals and recognitions.
There is a full length book shelf. Further in there is a picture wall with pictures of the whole family. We pass this wall and then to the main hall.
The formal living room is to one side of the main entrance. The highlight, though belongs to the courtyard in the middle. It is pebble lined and very spacious.
The formal area and dining area is separated by a full length cupboard which doubles as a showcase. Fulja has decked up the house with antiques - there is a grandfathers clock and a gramophone.
Across the courtyard in the middle we reach the sitting room of the old house. 'This is where eight people lived happily', says Benny's mother with a smile. The old house has not been changed much - other than the fact that one room has been converted into the dining and wash area.
The house now has two dining areas. The old kitchen has been spruced up. Benny says, 'it is said that people start building their houses when the time is tough, for me all the movies I wrote during this time has been successful.
We ask him the often repeated question 'why so little luxury'? Benny says 'I still drive a Maruti Swift. I have never felt like I needed an Audi or a Benz. If ever I feel like that, may be then, I will consider what you said.