Home Sweet Home – Ruined Mansion, Roshanpura, Gurgaon
The story of a home.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Old abandoned houses tend to become hauntingly surreal in their dilapidation. Despite being stereotyped as a fantasy land of high-rises and multi-storey apartments, the Futuristic City of Gurgaon in the National Capital Region has a remarkably good enough share of these relics.
And now, here’s the most extraordinary of them all, situated, understandably, in the old parts of the city, at Roshanpura.
The house is extensively damaged, as if one night it was simply bombed out of existence by a fighter jet. The roof is missing. So are the rooms.
But some walls are still intact, with their shelves and niches. One has the imprints of a staircase that no longer exists. A corner fireplace has survived unscathed and looks so alive and approachable that you can easily eavesdrop on the house owner’s late night fireside chat—in your imagination. It’s more difficult to make anything of the floor, overrun with wild grass. Mounds of bricks are littered across many places. These bricks, perhaps, are remains of the collapsed walls that separated one room from another.
The ruined house cannot be entered, however. Its low boundary-wall is punctuated by one of those old-fashioned doors often spotted in Old Delhi. The door is locked (as if!).
Even so, you can examine the house in its entirety from across the facing by-lane. The mansion, or its residue, is evocative of the fragments of a poem who’s meaning is lost but not its beauty.
A visiting-card printer working in the area says that the “bungalow stood whole until two years ago.”
Visit it before this poignant sight is replaced by a shining new building.