Like everyone who builds their dream home, Raju, a native of Arukutty in Alappuzha district too wanted his house to have unique features that instantly draw attention. The exteriors and the interiors of his brand new house are designed according to the family’s likes and desires. However, Raju wanted to try something unique with the design of the gate. After looking for unique themes and ideas for quite a bit, Raju decided to design the gate like an abacus slate, with colourful beads, that is used by kids to learn mathematics. This gate soon became the talk of the town and people gathered in front of his house just to see it to believe it.
Beads from Coimbatore
It was two years ago that Raju, who runs an off-set printing press, built this house. He says he has always been curious to try out unique and interesting things. When he communicated his idea for the gate to his family members, they were excited.
“The humble slate is something that excites nostalgia as it was once a favourite item in everyone’s lives. However, building the gate wasn’t as easy as it was perceived. Many people were ready to make the gate in this unique design. But the steel balls that resemble the colourful balls on the abacus slate weren’t available anywhere,” says Raju. Many had advised Raju to give up the idea after he was tired of looking for it in Kochi and Alappuzha. Finally, he got the steel balls, just as he had imagined, from Coimbatore. These balls were brought to Kerala, scrapped off the rust, cleaned them and then repainted in desired colours.
Rs 15,000 for a gate
“Usually, people are ready to spend at least Rs 50,000 – Rs 65,000 for the gates in their new homes. But, I had spent just Rs 15,000 for this gate. It is built in a way which allows you to take this one off and fix a new gate. The gate is mainly built using GI pipes and steel balls,” says Raju.
House or creche?
Raju says he had tried a slate design on the gate because there were little kids in the family. But, many people began mistaking the house for a play school where they could admit their children. When this happened quite a few times, Raju too couldn’t hide his excitement. This gate still manages to attract the attention of the people. But, whenever Raju sees his special gate, he cannot help but recall the beautiful memories of his school days.