A man’s exceptional love for photography also involved a dream — that of living in a house shaped as a camera. When Ravi Hongal turned that dream into a grand reality, it was just a matter of time before the world sat up and took notice. For the past few days, this unique house in Karnataka’s Belagavi city is breaking the internet.
As photos of the house go viral, we spoke to Hongal, 49, who has been a photographer for the last 33 years. While Hongal’s love for photography is well-known in the region, the house that was completed recently has come as a pleasant surprise for everyone with people from nearby areas arriving to take photographs and selfies.
Hongal says building the house wasn’t an easy task. “I love photography and camera and everything related to it. Over the years a lot has changed in the area, but my love for it remains the same,” he told indianexpress.com over the telephone. “It was my long-cherished dream to build a house that would look like a camera but I didn’t know how to build it — both in terms of executing the concept and monetarily.” .
However, after saving for years, he came across engineers and architects who helped him realise his dream.
Hongal credits Key Concepts Interiors, which did the construction and interior designing of the project, for the large numbers of photography-related features both inside and outside the house.
There are camera brand names — Canon, Nikon and Epson — etched on the wall of the house, which, interestingly, are also the names of Hongal’s sons. A railing of one of the balconies is shaped as a reel, a big flash mounted on top of a lens and hood is also seen outside. There are also features like a memory card and the roll film, along with camera shutter on the main gate.
“There were challenges indeed, but they were open to my ideas and suggestions. I told them how I wanted lens, lenshood and camera films in my designs, and while few were easier to achieve, others needed more work. I tried to help them with much input to get it just the way how I had imagined in my head. After two long years of many brainstorming sessions, finally it became a reality.”
Although the house was completed about two months ago, the pictures of the house — named ‘Click’ — had everyone talking online earlier this week when it was shared on Twitter.
Each floor of the three-storey building is dedicated to his sons, eldest Canon Hongal, 20, Nikon Hongal, 18 and their youngest Epson Hongal, 13.
Asked how does his children feel about their names, Hongal said: “When I decided to name them after camera brand, they didn’t understand much but my wife was very supportive. They often used to ask me about their names as they got older and even if they did mind earlier now they’re quite happy. I explained that I named them after things I love the most and they understood it and now are proud.”
Asked if he ever imagined that the photos of his house will go viral, he said he did not build the house for publicity. “I didn’t anticipate it at all. It was my dream and I’m just happy that that my passion is being recognised and people are enjoying it. I feel so happy and proud to see people stopping by to take photos and selfies,” Hongal said.