Having kick-started two decades ago, the farmhouse culture has ebbed and flowed with the changing landscape. Starting with gated communities, houses which used to be on the outskirts of the city are now part of the urban topography.
Once limited to the affluent denizens of the city, now there are a significant number of people who want to own such houses. “Owning a farmhouse is not that easy as it seems. They require a lot of maintenance and patience, not just money. Over the years, the number of such properties has increased, however, people are unable to maintain them,” says C Shekhar Reddy, former national president, CREDAI.
Escaping to one’s own space of heaven is finding more and more takers in the city. Be it chilling out with friends or celebrating a happy occasion, farmhouses are turning out to be a convenient place to celebrate without worrying about time or restrictions. Spread around Vikarabad, Medchal, Gandipet, Himayathsagar, farmhouses are becoming a sort of an oasis for denizens.
For many, setting up a barbecue under the starry sky and camp-fire amid nature with music and drinks is what makes the experience memorable. It is the lure of having one’s own private space that makes Bina Mehta, director of Prakash Lights, escape to Gandipet every weekend with her husband. “I prefer partying at the farmhouse than public spaces which are often crowded. We mostly party with our friends and sometimes arrange a DJ. Sometimes, we just invite a few friends and hang out too.
During festivals, we keep a colour code, so for Sankranti, it can be a kite-themed party where guests come in colourful attire with an element of kites,” says Bina. Like her, actor-designer Nithin Raibi likes to visit his farmhouse in Peerzadiguda near Uppal once in two weeks. “We all lead such a stressful and hectic life, that we have forgotten how to be good human beings.
Whenever I feel things are getting out of control and feel stressed, I come here to introspect. It gives me a chance to relive my childhood,” says Nithin. A typical day at his farmhouse starts with waking up to the sunrise, brushing with vepapulla, cooking farm-grown vegetables, reading a novel followed by a well-earned nap. The place also doubles as an informal meet-up place when his cousins and parents come visiting from Kancherla. “We chat for hours together, cook traditional food and listen to each other without judgement.”
However, when it comes to New Year celebrations, demonetisation has turned into a dampener on many farmhouse parties. “Farmhouse parties used to be very popular for chilling out, which has come down now. Also, it’s much cheaper to organise an event at clubs who draw in patrons with attractive packages these days. After demonetisation, not many have that kind of money to party at farmhouses unless they are awash with funds,” says DJ Piyush Bajaj.