Day 22 (V) ~ #BlogchatterA2Z
All artwork is done by Seema Misra, Copyright Lonely Canopy.
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.
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.