Posts Tagged ‘space’

Sunset, Fire, and Outer Space, 050414

April 8, 2014

As we waited for dusk, so that the Slender Lorises would become active, we were treated to the sight of a beautiful sunset.




However, as the sun sank, I watched a villager set fire to the edges of his field:



When I asked him, he said he was burning the Lantana bushes.


I am still not sure why he had to burn them, but the sun and the flames seemed to compete.


It seemed that, along with the fires, the whole sky was aflame:


I watched the fires rage…


I walked away, down the trail, and watched the moon and stars come into their own:


Lovely to see out into space, while waiting to see something in our little world!


February 17, 2013

Terraces….I look at the houses around me in St.Louis, and this is one feature I miss…all these houses have sloping roofs, so that the occasional snow can slide off. However, in India, most houses and apartment buildings are topped by flat terraces, which have multiple uses, and which add to the rich texture of life in my country.

The first use is, of course, to harvest all that solar energy that hits the rooftop of the house. Women bring their vegetables, pickles, and fritters to be dried in the sun, and the terrace of a home is often a delight for a small child, with delicious tibits spread out on mats. Some children are also given the job of guarding these self-same tidbits against marauding crows and sparrows, with the promise of a small reward (augmented, of course, by regular samplings!)

The terrace is the place (no longer true in apartments, alas!) where the family’s washing is brought up to be dried, by free solar power. Who has not been entranced by the lines of colourful clothes billowing in the sunlight!

Terraces have always been associated with love, which often is carried on under the guise of all the activities above! Those who are caught up with the mundane details of life in the lower floors, often come up to indulge in romance….the young girl spreading out the sarees on the clotheslines often lifts up her eyes to the young man teaching his younger brother to fly a kite…

Unfortunately, the terrace in a building is quite a public space, and other people (epecially children) delight in spoiling the mood of the lovers.

Here’s a song with children playing voyeurs…” mottai maadi mottai maadi love jodi love jodi”…terrible lyrics, but the song is fun!

ThanimayilE inimai kANa mudiyumA (Can you find sweetness in loneliness?)

Many Muslim houses also keep their “kabootharkhana” (pigeon nests) on the terraces, and its beautiful to see the birds fluttering up in unison against the morning or the evening sun.

The terraces of old houses have given rise to many romances, and many songs are pictured on terraces. Here’s a beautiful song set on a terrace:

Here’s a nice cartoon about love-on-the-terrace:

terrace 220213 photo terrace.jpg

With shamiyanas constructed on them, terraces also used to make a good place for food to be served during family weddings, in the days when weddings were held at home.

I remember, so many of us together, during the Leonid showers a few years ago, or when there were lunar eclipses, gathering with chai and snacks to watch the celestial spectacles.

Even today, in an apartment building, a terrace is often a kind of common space where neighbours can meet and spend a little time together. On a terrace, one is somehow apart from, and above, the cares that oppress one down below. The perspective and the view are different, and it’s a good time to enjoy oneself, or introspect….

Given this social history of terraces, it’s a pity so many builders just put a lot of water pipes on the terraces of apartment buildings, and completely spoil what could be a great place to gather and socialize. I do love terraces, as an extension of Indian habitation.

Wealth, power, space..and “exclusive”

November 8, 2011

Wealth and power…I’ve been thinking about them, and one of the ways of demonstrating wealth and power seems to be related to how much space one can get to call one’s own, and how few people one has to share it with. The more wealthy one is, the more space one seems to want…a large house, either a sprawling bungalow or a multistoreyed palace…perhaps several homes, spread out over the globe. And the next thing, of course, having acquired that space, is to prevent as many people as possible from sharing it….except the chosen few of one’s friends, and those who will help maintain that space. Only those invited can breach the walls…walls which are, very often, physical walls around the residences of the rich and the privileged, with security guards to ensure that the hoi polloi and the uninvited do not gain access. Telephone lines are private or unlisted, mobile numbers are not given out…the rich person is veiled in a shroud of his or her personal space, and inaccessibility is the mantra.

The word “exclusive”…means just that. It means excluding everyone, but the elite few whom one chooses to admit by invitation or because of ties of family or friendship…from one’s life, and space.

I don’t like the word….or the concept.

Every available space is up for sale…

October 30, 2007

Revenue…that’s the name of the game.

Saw this on the back of the seat as we flew back from Delhi to Bangalore yesterday:

space for sale on spicejet 291007 dli-blr

Well, at least the title is witty!

Would I advertise in a space where the hapless passenger had to stare at my ad for 2 hours? I don’t think so, but obviously, Spicejet, the airline we were flying, believes that people would be influenced…

I am renting out the back and front of my tee-shirts shortly. Why should I *pay* to have Proline or someone else advertise their name when I can hire out the space and *make* money?

You can contact me..actually you need not contact me, just send the money across…