Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Of Homes.

Speaking of homes and houses,there's a very strong bout of sorrow that hits me each time i see a house being broken down in order to make flats.
there are quite a few being broken down in the area where we stay. and what makes me sadder is the way these homes are broken down-with one blow after another with these huge hammers.men in lungis standing in the heat first strip out the paint, then the plaster and then the bricks as sweat runs down in lines down their sunburnt backs.sometimes they sing songs or they chat about what they're going to do with the money they get after they're done breaking down the house.then one day suddenly, we only see rods and bars sticking out like the rib cage of a skeleton.then one day that goes too.
my grandparents from both sides owned huge houses both of which got difficult for the sons and daughters of the families to maintain.both of them have been sold off to promoters.one house has been left alone while the surrounding land was sold and the other has been sold in its entirety and in a few months, rods are all that is going to remain.then,they will go too.
i sometimes wonder what it feels to see one's home being broken down.the room where you learnt to crawl, the wall you doodled on, the ceiling you slept under...bricks that knew all your secrets, the floors that your feet ran on.the home you made.the times you lived.the breath you left behind.
i thank god today that i stay nowhere close to where my grandparents stayed.and that i stay in a flat that wont be broken down.

"If memories could be canned, would they also have expiry dates? If so, I hope they last for centuries."

12 comments:

Neel said...

Very true. Our city or a localities landscape and architecture shapes our minds and has a tremendous effect on our lives. I have this nightmare...coming back home one day to find strangers dwelling in it... the dining room has changed...slowly and steadily it's being broken down.
It's sad to see that how people with no civic and artistic sense are destroying a city in the name of developing!
That said...yours is a very touching piece. "the wall you doodled on, the ceiling you slept under...bricks that knew all your secrets"....awesome!

little boxes said...

@neel i am afraid i cant agree with you especially with respect to my post.aesthetics takes a backseat when the economy of a family is affected.sometimes the choice you make is between promoters who offer you a better price and not promoters with aesthetic sense.
letting go of homes isnt "development" is it being unable to bear costs of maintenance.an old big house needs a lot of money and some families dont have that kind of money.

little boxes said...

*it is

Neel said...

@little boxes i am sorry. i didn't mean to disrespect your family in any way. I understand what you meant. It's just that your post made me think...and my thought took off in a different line. But I didn't mean to dis respect or belittle your thoughts.

The Ketchup Girl said...

your post reminded me of a scene from Ray's Jana Aranya.

Love your blog header.

atindriyo said...

bhangar o nijoshyo ek chhondo achhey, riti-protha achhey.....

little boxes said...

@tkg: thanks,it's a pic of the road infront of my house after some 5 hourse of constant rain :)

KARTHIK PURUSHOTHAMAN said...

"I'm in a flat that won't be broken down." Now, that's Bedatri.

Magically Bored said...

New Alipore has always been known for its old, picturesque houses. And most of them are being broken down, and multi-storeyed buildings are coming up in their place. Because maintaining such big houses is difficult, it's just easier to sell it to a promoter, right?
It's sad. I hope this never ever happens to my house. I'll try to make sure it won't.

sujaan said...

issues that are inevitable and hard to deal with. breaking down an old house never leaves a good taste in the mouth. May be they somehow physically contain memories and spirits of the past?

rainsongstress said...

you know what is worse? when they tear down rather rip apart scores of trees and greens just to build 'multi-storeyed' monsters.that breaks my heart!it is as if somebody is dragging you by your hair and beating you..its violence,thats what it is. and when they break down old buildings thats yet another violence.its like they re hacking down the walls where you laid your baby hands on and left little colourful pieces of yourself.....
i completely agree with you little boxes...and i love how you ve expressed it all...much love..<3

brainwrenched said...

a flat that won't be broken down, built in place of a house which was. displacing lots of memories, harbouring so many more.
its especially hard on grandparents because in most cases, they personally oversaw proceedings while the house was being built..

the post borders on idealism, which is why I like it :D

it is funny how you can't seem to remember what was in place of a concrete monster which took a long time to build!