Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Brick walls, iron gates and the talkative Indian
Ever since I rejected the clock and the calender to measure time, I have taken this journey of moving across ages and eras with a bit of an ease. Sure it does at times, trouble me on handling the now, but understanding 'time' in an eternal sense, and measuring it with chunks of events can provide more meaning for the future while living in the 'now'.
Thats' when I journey across the time when life was very uncomplicated, when children knew the real source of milk and eggs and the adults actually journeyed on foot to go places. What fascinated me was the architecture of the old houses. They were constructed with the traveler in mind. The 'thinnai' or the front yard had a place for the traveler to cool his heels. refresh himself with food and drink and even spend the night sleeping there. The traveler carried news, he shared knowledge, probably in return for the care given. They spoke, sang, exchanged notes, as unto FB in real life - flesh and blood. The architecture hence was totally Indian accommodating conversation and dialogue, opening up the hallowed portals of home to a stranger was not an effort but a natural process. For a typical Indian was given to prolixity.
Generations have come and gone, the mortar and concrete phased out the lime and tiles. Cow dung spread anti septic flooring have vanished in a belch, ceramic tiles and marble have taken the pride of place. Wicket fences facilitated free flow of conversation have been replaced by the brick walls as unto a 'fire wall'. Modern architecture is alas self centered, inward focused, shuts of social life, glorifies safety, finds comfort behind the iron bars and in short makes a idol of his own.
The Indian today wants to talk, he wants to share, he wants to throw his home open and let the words flow in. He wants to break down the brick walls and bring down the iron gates that has made protected the idol in himself. He wants to be free. Will the Son set them free??