Lonely Canopy Art & Travel

Traveling the world, one sketch at a time!

Vas Villa, Bangalore – Then and Now

Day 22 (V) ~ #BlogchatterA2Z

All artwork is done by Seema Misra, Copyright Lonely Canopy.

#BlogchatterA2Z posts:

A , B , C , D , E , F , G , H , I , J , K , L , M , N , O , P , Q , R , S , T , U , V , W , X , Y , Z

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Vas Villa was a crumbling old house, with a blue rusted Hillman Minx parked in the porch. Many years ago, on the way to Bangalore Film Society screenings at Ashirwaad, I would pass by this house. It always had this strange intriguing air about it that made me stand and stare at it. Some of my local friends used to tell me that the house is haunted.

The house has weathered brown walls, eight inter-connected rooms, and precious statues scattered around. Daredevils who snoop inside find it furnished with books, chairs, medicines, and other personal belongings that are slowly disintegrating. The floor is said to be strewn with old rum bottles and lots of new Old Monk ones as well. Any pulp horror story could be based in this setting, and the multitude of stories only add wings to one’s imagination.

Some facts about the house:
This house, named Tera Vera, was built by an Anglo-Indian, E J Vaz in the 1940s for his daughters, Vera Vaz and Dolce Vaz. E J Vaz was a high court lawyer from Bombay. Vera and Dolce, his daughters, worked as tutors, the former taught English and the latter the piano. They lived peacefully in this house most of their lives.

On September 4, 2002, Dolce was stabbed to death. She was 75 years old. Vera, the elder sister was 80 and suspected her family of murder. Eventually, Vera was persuaded to relocate to a safer place. Some say she went to Australia.
Since then, the house has been steadily decaying. And people have created many stories about it. The circumstances surrounding the murder are also unclear.

The ghost stories are standard edition – piano music in the middle of the night, black magic and an inverted cross on the property, and the presence of a malignant spirit.

DSC_0426

Whenever I passed by, it felt like any other house. There’s a sadness to it because one can glimpse a past glory beneath the dirty crumbling structure. And, if anything, the murder of an old lady over property just reiterates the greed of human beings.

I haven’t been by St. Marks road for a long time. However, I remember reading in the newspaper that it has been demolished to make way for a new construction.

To me that is the deepest tragedy, brick by brick, the old Bangalore is disappearing, to make space for a new urban jungle. It’s the spirit of that old city calling out from such houses, abandoned or occupied. And, we all are too busy to stop and notice.

Newspaper articles:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Vera-Vaz-stands-strong-despite-tragedy/articleshow/21694666.cms

http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/ghostbusted-rs-20-crore/articleshow/29727092.cms

Seema Misra

Seema Misra undertakes freelance projects for illustrations, content creation, copywriting, and social media marketing through her blog Lonely Canopy. To unwind, she watches world cinema or travels across it. She talks to her plants and sometimes people as well. But more often than not … you will find her curled up in her favorite corner reading a book while sipping strong coffee.

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Namratha Varadharajan
Guest

I believe you need to have an eye to notice these houses. I used to go through St. Marks Road all the time and never took notice of anything but the road! As usual a memorable story.

shwetadave
Guest
shwetadave

There’s no way of knowing what transpired there. But hats off to you to notice, and get all the information and then write it up so well 🙂 It compels the reader to ponder about the house and the story it has to tell and much more! Well done.

Meena
Guest

My hometown is Bangalore, but I confess I have never seen this place. What an eye for detail you have. Indeed it is sad how heritage buildings are taken down for newer apartments and such stuff. People don’t value heritage anymore. 🙁

Shalzmojo
Guest

Your naration is impeccable Seema; I was so lost into this tale and was wondering if you would go inside and explore it more. Its sad to see older sections of the cities giving way for newer constructions but that is the way of life. The older dies while the younger lives in the present till he too gets old and is replaced. With increasing populations, we need more space. Plus the old buildings are in ruins and pose a safety hazard too. Either they be repaired and tended to by their owners or they are razed to make way… Read more »

Rashmi
Guest

I must say you are blessed with a pair of sharp eyes, which can penetrate within the darkest. You always take us for a memorable trip.
Though we can’t stop giving way to the new architecture, but let’s vote to preserve the heritage too.

Akshata Ram
Guest

I wasn’t aware of this place though I lived in Bangalore for 10 years. It does have a haunting past but it’s glorious too, sad to know it’s demolished . We may see a swanky restaurant in its place

mammaspeaks
Guest

How beautifully you have narrated the story and drove the point home, Seema! Not only your illustrations are splendid, but your stories touch the heart too!

syncwithdeep
Guest

Lovely narration with a beautiful sketch . Had been to bangalore twice and not sure of any places there. So this is something new for me that i can comment on. But i love thee details and the way u put into words. Especially brick by brick, the city is disappearing making way for a new urban jungle.

Sayanti aka Shine
Guest

Beautiful illustration, Seema and the story is quite interesting.

Sonia Chatterjee Banerjee
Guest

I stayed in Karnataka for a little over 12 years, out of which 7 years were spent in Bangalore. I remember reading and hearing about this haunted house. But my concentration in St. Marks Road would always be on the restaurants in that area. The tale would always be forgotten the moment I entered Koshys or HRC. Kudos to you for actually doing an article on this. And I am a big fan of your artwork.

https://soniasmusings.com/2018/04/25/a-dollop-of-bengal-victoria-memorial/

Shilpa Gupte
Guest

I admire your courage, Seema! Stopping by the house and looking at it wondering what lies behind those walls!

Loved the painting! <3

Arti Jain
Guest

Yes, you said it Seema: It’s a tragedy.
Your words paint a picture so poignant and nostalgic that it feels like I am watching the house unfold its secrets to me.
Thank you for saving a piece of this house in your sketches and words.
V is for Vintage

Natasha
Guest
Natasha

Hello Seema,

I’m so glad I stopped by, thanks to your comment on my blog.

This is a very intriguing story, and I am ver fascinated by your eye for details. And you are an incredible artist indeed.

https://natashamusing.com/2018/04/v-is-for-vivacious-souls-atozchallenge/

Keith's Ramblings
Guest

Beautifully written and superbly illustrated Seema.Incidentally, my great-grandfather was William Hillman who started the Hillman car company. I am that rusted old Minx!

A-Z of My Friend Rosey!

ghostmmnc
Guest

What an interesting old house and story. I do love a good ghost story, and this one of tragedy is so sad. Returning your visit to my place A to Z 🙂

Balaka
Guest

Beautiful artwork. You are so talented.

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RUCHI NASA
Guest

It’s like Har ghar kuch Kehta hai ! So nicely you have introduced us to the mystery which we will keep pondering long after.

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Neethu
Guest

Being a banglorean, I loved reading this post 😊

BellyBytes
Guest

What a delightful read . I’m haunted by the imagery created by the crumbling walls and a crumbling lifestyle. Our old cities are changing beyond recognition with new structures that smack of brassiness and glitz . I remember our Anglo Indian teachers who had a different kind of charm . This post brings back memories of an India that is fast fading