• Elm & Clay .

Lost in Transit.

Between my production, marketing and PR chores, I knew better than to delve into the sport of reflection. But the urge to write about flickering nostalgia lay dormant in me for so long that I finally decided to pen down my fairly redundant thoughts on the subject. But humor me, will you?

At the start of every new school year, I would come home with bag full of new crisp books, only to always devour the Literature book within the first hour. Next in line being the science and history books. While literature took me to the faraway English lands of Shepherd’s pie, scones and cream, there was a quiet, ideal world depicted in the colorful pages of the civic and science volumes. These books opened up a plethora of cravings. Suddenly the urban kid in me wanted achingly to wake up to the crowing of a rooster in a bed next to a picturesque window that captured the rising sun and the silent moon perfectly. I wanted to emulate that model boy who ate his balanced meal of chapatis, vegetables, dal and a mound of rice drawn with such delightful details. I tried, unsuccessfully, to study at a table with a straight-backed chair before splaying down on my bed with my scattered books. Walking on the zebra crossing while the vehicles stood in neat line waiting and playing at a public park with its own balloon seller and ice cream truck.

As I mused over my musings, I realized in spite of having almost every luxury imaginable, what probably appealed even to the naive 10 year old me, was the simplicity and placidity pictured on those pages. Today’s cosmopolitan life under a Valencia filter in my ‘OOTD’, paints a delusional romantic picture. While the truth is expensive halogen lights that can depress you after an hour under, and a sparkling robe, (that was better off on Jasmine anyway) ten minutes into which my craving for pajamas would kick in. Contrary to which, there’s something about how the sun enters a traditional house, like a beloved neighbor who drops by daily for some engaging babble. Somewhere between this beautiful romance pretension crept in. The imperial silk draperies blocked out the playful dance of the leaves in spotlight, and creating a rich, intimate niche took a backseat. The archaic rosewood armchair made to order, so favored by Grandparents disappeared, soon to be replaced by the boisterous ‘La-Z-Boy’. Just like those close knit family ties disappeared, eh?

In our efforts to deconstruct and minimize technology and design, we may have killed the bird that laid the golden eggs. We lost the wooden table that imbibed every new ring of history from the cold glass on a warm summer day or the tracks made on the dirt lanes by the passing of a tickling bullock cart or the tiny hole in the roof that let in a stream of the glittering sun. Sure these imperfections may make our skin crawl today, but each of those wood grains and mud track told an entertaining story. But alas! Glazed windows and metallic canopies have left our world cold and cut-off.

Oh! I am but a dreamer! I am hopeful for an encore of the bygone era. Of the pure smell of turmeric grinding on the stones or the first rains splashing away merrily in the central courtyard of a home!

#Architecture #memories #contemporary #nostalgia #traditional #change #Indian #simplicity


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