Film-maker Ranjith Sankar’s movies are known for the perfect blend of art and commercial prospects. One of the most sought-after film-makers, Ranjith has impressed the audience with the super hit movies like 'Passenger', 'Ramante Edenthottam', 'Pretham', 'Punyalan Agarbathis', 'Njan Marykutty' and 'Pretham 2'. The prolific director is thrilled to show around his elegant home, ‘Rachana’, at Vazhakkala in Ernakulam, Kerala.
“I am a native of Thrissur. May be because I am extremely nostalgic about my hometown that most of my movies have Thrissur as its background. I hail from Padinjarekotta in Thrissur town. I grew up in a 3000 sq ft concrete house which was built in the 1980’s. Spacious rooms were the highlight of that house. However, that house remains locked for the last 15 years. Many offered good money to buy that plot and house. But I didn’t sell it because my roots are important to me. That house is what connects me to Thrissur,” says Ranjith.
A graduate in civil engineering, the film-maker admits that he has no perception about the subject now. After completing his studies Ranjith worked in the IT field for some time before moving to Kochi to pursue his dreams in the world of movies. Initially, he lived in a rented house. It was in 2005 that the family purchased the house at Vazhakkala. The house was a single storied one when they bought it. Ranjith says it was the peaceful neighborhood, away from the bustle of the city, which attracted him the most. He named the house ‘Rachana’ as this beautiful dwelling inspires him to write his films.
“Space constraints became a problem as my kids were growing up. So we renovated the house in 2014. I had already bought the nearby plot and house as well. We shifted to that house while this one was being renovated. The rooms were made more spacious and a few rooms were added in the upper storey as well. A living area, hall, dining space, kitchen, three bedrooms and a home theater are arranged in this house which has an area of 2500 sq ft,” noted the director.
Ranjith’s wife Smitha is a software engineer. His daughter Thara is a class nine student and his son Tharun studies in class six. His father retired as a deputy registrar and his mother worked as a teacher. The film maker’s parents too reside with his family.
The mementos and awards won by Ranjith are proudly displayed on a shelf in the main hall. The stairway designed in the floating style, in three levels, is an eye-catching feature in the interiors. The pooja room is arranged below the stairway by meticulously utilizing the spaces. The path leading to this space is beautified by paving artificial grass.
“I didn’t interfere in the design features or the construction of this house. It was my wife Smitha who oversaw everything. She is an advocate of the minimal style. That is the reason why dark shades or too many decorative features won't be spotted inside the house. I just had one demand that there should be a home theater in the house, and it has been arranged. But the most hilarious thing is that I am not interested to enjoy the home theater much, now. I think that the significance of home theaters is diminishing as smart televisions are becoming extremely popular. Now my living room itself is my home theater,” explains Ranjith.
Ranjith had purchased a small flat in Kochi, in 2007, before he made his entry into the movies. He admits it was that flat which gave him the financial confidence to take a plunge into the movies. “Even though I had approached many to produce my debut movie Passenger, nothing had really worked out. I was confident that I would sell this house and plot to bankroll the movie, as I already have a flat to live in. However, I didn’t have to do that as I got a producer for the movie. Currently, that flat functions as the production office of my films,” says the film-maker.
The film-maker believes that his movies’ locations come to him as if fate would play a major role. It was after so many enquiries that the charming resort shown in 'Ramante Edenthottam' came to him. The beautiful resort and the location indeed played a prominent part in making the movie visually amazing. Ranjith says that his wife’s native place is Ottapalam and he is distantly related to the famed Varikkasery mana. He had always dreamed to film one of his movies at this iconic household. His dream finally came true when he shot his latest movie 'Pretham 2' at the Varikkasery mana.
“Every Malayali yearns to come back to their own homes, even if they are too far away. I believe that a house gets complete not when it is built with bricks and cement but with the strong bonds of love that the family members share. Rachana, in all its sense, is truly my dream home,” Ranjith Sankar signs off.