About The MVH Chronicle

Reva Malik and Ranjan Malik

Amla is our home – a small piece of land (50ft x 60ft) on which we – Reva and Ranjan, live in a mudhouse. We are attempting to go back to being natives of nature. To reconnect with the elements and mend the broken energy cycles.

We run our firm, Primalise from here. The firm helps businesses and institutions find congruence. Congruence between their purpose and their pursuits – conceiving innovative strategies that are rooted in their cultural ethos.

‘Living your being’ is how we describe the Primalise philosophy. And that’s what we are attempting to follow in this house. We are working towards making this small dwelling completely self-sustaining – growing our own food, harvesting our own water and being part of the nature’s magical cycles.

We follow the circadian rhythm and do not use usual conveniences that are considered standard in a modern urban household. There is no electric wiring or plumbing in our house and most things are operated manually. In terms of resource usage, our aim is to be net positive. Through this we plan to arrive at a clear definition for our concept MVH – Minimum Viable Home. The minimum resources that a home needs to keep a family of two in vibrant health.

Our guiding philosophy while setting up our home has been: everyday living must nourish us enough physically, mentally and socially, so that we aren’t dependent on artificial supplements like gyms and other such deliberate wellbeing related interventions.

For us, our home must help us connect with the elements meaningfully rather than insulate and distance us us from them.

In this chronicle we record our everyday experiences and realisations.

About Amla

Amla is a small house on a small piece of land in the city of Bangalore.

We named it Amla after the Nellikai tree that we planted here before we began building the mud-house; the tree has been thriving and doing really well.

So well that we have had to find ingenious ways to preserve the bounty – we’ve been making pickles, nellekai arishtham – traditional wine and dehydrated amla.

A third of this 50ft x 60ft area is built and the rest is green thanks to fruit trees and vegetable plants.

The house is essentially just one space. Call it whatever-room – we relax, work, cook and just be in this area; the mezzanine is our ‘office’.

A pinewood staircase is our commute to the office. The mezzanine opens up into a little terrace that offers us a vantage bird’s eye view of most of Amla. It also has a critical function – helping us harness the sun for our cooking. The solar cooker, together with our chulha – the wood-stove, is our primary mode of cooking.

The only other built areas are the two gravel beds that treat our grey water and produce nourishing, value added water for our plants, complete with rich fish excreta. Guppies and algae eaters live in the treated grey water reservoir. Enriching it and also performing the critical ecosystem service of keeping mosquitos and algae in check. Before the water reaches the fish tanks, it goes through gravel, the cattail-canna root zones and coal.

Life in Amla mostly happens, not indoors but in the agla and pichhla vedas – open areas in the front and the back. Or next to the chicken coop and pen under the gasagase hannina mara – Jam Fruit tree, bonding with Kaali, Chitti, our hens and the four chicks. The pichhla veda has our hand-pump – the only source of water, that pumps harvested rainwater from our sump. This part of Amla gets the morning sun rays and we often sit here to prepare for the two cooked meals of the day.

8 thoughts on “About The MVH Chronicle”

  1. This is really wonderful the way you live.. I also have a though to buy a land and live like this not fully but yes partially😁.. Like mud house, solar panels, Ev, solar electrity, grow veggies and fruits etc..i would really want to connect with you and gain the knowldge and would apply to my living…

  2. Hi
    After reading i think you guys are living most amazing life and living really very close to reality and Nature…i will also try a bit of your ideas…best of luck…god bless you
    Bye

  3. Hi,

    You have exactly what I have been searching for :-)… that’s a beautiful house and life.

    I am Lalit and my wife Mili, both have a corporate job in Gurgaon and farms in Panipat, Haryana.

    We are willing to build our home on the same principles and were finding it difficult to take the first step.

    We would like to speak to you at your convenience.

    Please let us know.

  4. Amazing concept of zero waste, many could learn and understand the true meaning of minimalistic living yet complete in its own way, If I could I will follow the same someday.

  5. आपके विचार व आपके द्वारा सृजित घर को देख बहूत खुशी हुई।

    Mud हाउस का नाम सुनने पर ग्रामीण घरो की छवि सामने आ जाती थी, आपका घर देख कर आश्चर्य हुआ कि क्या mud हाउस इतने सुंदर भी हो सकते है। बधाई।

    सेवानिवृत्ति के बाद इसी प्रकार प्रकृति के साथ जीने की प्रबल इच्छा बहूत समय से है।
    उज्जैन की एक कॉलोनी में मेरे पास एक 3800 वर्ग फ़ीट का कोने का रहवासी भूखंड है। क्या वहाँ यह बनाना संभव है।

    आपको निर्माण में कितनी लागत आई? इस कार्य के लिए आर्किटेक्ट, इंजिनीअर सामग्री आदि कैसे जुटाए। आप इसमें किस प्रकार सहायता कर सकते हैं?

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