Looking Ahead...

Community park being used to play cricket on a Sunday morning


The first residents of Malhar moved into their homes in 2014, and the number has steadily grown with the completion of each cluster. Today, about 250 families call Malhar home. It has been exciting and heartening to watch the community evolve and develop. Composting is a religion, as is not using chemicals in the home. A snake rescue group jumps in whenever a snake is spotted, protecting the animal and comforting scared residents!! Every common space has blossomed into its own unique identity. Celebrations, either of festivals or for pure fun, are a regular feature, adding to the enthusiastic spirit of Malhar. Different interest groups have been formed, and gather to create and share. Book clubs, fitness groups, yoga practitioners, music, book and film enthusiasts, cricket and football players all liven up the community. Volunteer groups that manage the security, waste, gardening and water are present in individual clusters, supporting the formal associations.

The Good Earth Malhar Mela at the amphitheatre


The Malhar Mela was a community fair initiated by GoodEarth, and has had three wildly successful iterations. The intent of the mela was to encourage the community to participate in it not as mere spectators, but as creators sharing their talents and interests with their neighbours. It was also intended to encourage a more “hands-on” culture in the community. Homemade food, craft and art defined the essence of the mela. Activities and games facilitated by residents formed an informal and casual platform for them to get to know each other better. 

Inspired by the village jaathre, the mela achieved all that it set out to do in its three outings. The organisation and execution of the fair are now being taken on by the community. We hope that the essence of the fair is retained and that it evolves into a platform for active community building.

encouraging craft and handmade at Good Earth Malhar
the spirit of Malhar


The Malhar library was an initiative set up by a few residents in one of the community spaces. With an intent to encourage reading and be a space to gather not just for the residents of Malhar but visitors as well, it is a warm and friendly place managed by volunteers.

“NAMMA OORA KATHE” (tales of our lands), a children’s mela organised by them, brought together about 100 children from Malhar and the neighbouring Benedictine and Anchepalya Government schools on three consecutive Saturdays in November 2018. The children mapped their neighbourhoods and played, listened to stories, read books and drummed together.


The Green Jam is a group that focuses  on environmental awareness and explores various ways to be more sustainable in everyday life, through music and conversation. 


As with any initiative of this scale which hopes to bridge differences and connect a multitude of individuals, community building at Malhar comes with its challenges:

Working out the modality of sharing cost and management of common spaces in keeping with the spirit of the community. Balancing  maintenance between the over-manicured and the unkempt, arriving at an aesthetic that looks both natural and cared for. Sustaining systems that have been set up with respect to sewage treatment and water management. Aligning across the community on ideas of security, safety and inclusion. Adjusting to the idea that nothing is maintenance-free; that being sustainable also means actively engaging with the buildings and landscape to take care of them.

Helping each other and collaborating

We dreamed of a community

That lived with the land,
Where the shared spaces were like children
To be enjoyed and cared for together.
Where driving the car was not as important,
as slowing down and smiling at the neighbours on the street,
Where privacy did not mean exclusion,
Where security meant neighbours and not electronic systems.

Where the residents valued water and the need to conserve it;
Recycled waste, and understood the need for renewal.
Where they learned about the seasons through the flowering of the trees,
delighted at the birds, insects and other visitors.
Where the natural homes blended into the landscape,
and into the lives of the community.

We hoped that what we built would inspire families 

to put down roots in the growing city.
Children would be free and safe, the elders cared for.
People would be in touch with themselves and nature
Life would be  revered and celebrated.

We believe that design has the power to change the way we live. It enhances and reinforces the intention of any community. It is a tool to create environments that are responsive to climate,
location and human needs. Spaces that enhance the visual and thermal comfort through materials that are non-toxic and natural can positively influence the health of their users. Design
must symbolize who we are and express what we hope to be. 

The Good Earth Team

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Vinay

    Thank you for sharing this in public domain, your articles has given me the confidence to go ahead and purchase a home in medley.

  2. Marcy

    What a wonderful set of articles about the creation of Malhar. This would make a fabulous book if you put them all together and expanded some of these pieces. Architecture and design students would certainly benefit from such a book. Thank you for your vision.

    1. Natasha

      thank you Marcie- have not been updating this site in a long time- hence the delayed response. Books are more of a committment- more people reading the blog might serve the purpose.

Leave a Reply