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What is Ancestral property and how to Save it.

Updated on December 4, 2015
the doorway decorated
the doorway decorated
Another model of decorating our homes near doorway
Another model of decorating our homes near doorway

the Bride Who Witnessed Generations….

I was delighted when so many snaps were being taken after decorating me with flowers, turmeric, kumkum, lights and especially the new paints.

The mango leaves hanging around the ceiling, the banana branches with coconut leaves depicting a thatched roof with traditional but fresh outlook….

There were videos shooting me in every angle, never disturbing my position. Every wall was decorated by replacing new posters and the whole floor was cleaned ,washed and decorated with rangoli (kolam) design.

This went on from dawn to dusk. I still feel the chanting of the suprabhath (morning prayer) followed by the new melodies to which even toddlers would start showing their steps to the beat.

Late in the evening, again there were pujas and diyas which made me feel warm and to stay awake for generations to pass and feel that I never need to sleep….

If at all my house could express itself

This was what I think my house was feeling on my sister’s wedding which was the last wedding of our generation.

Yes, it’s a young great grand house where we and have been living for the past 70years! It was a very costly affair for my grandpa who built it with great care and affection.

A huge amount had to be spent for buying all the required material and it was made of heavy stones and the wood work was a bit costly as it was similar to the British architecture. It was not a flat for a nuclear family to live; it was a big bungalow where around 10 to 15 people lived together along with shelter for cattle.

backyard with shelter for cattle
backyard with shelter for cattle
the veranda of a traditional house
the veranda of a traditional house
Traditional way of decorating a home
Traditional way of decorating a home

The Traditional Houses

The picture here is a depiction of a house with a courtyard in the centre, and a spacious porch outside of the house. The way the house is designed, it will keep cool in summer. This style of architecture was common in the olden times in India. Note the small Rangoli design at the entrance, which is traditionally a welcome to the deities. A close look at the board outside the doorway will give a clue to the exact region the house belongs to.

THE CENTER HALL
THE CENTER HALL

Nostalgia of a House

I was decorated many times for weddings, festivals, anniversaries, ceremonies when they were new borns… after all I was able to shelter so many… people, plants, trees, pet animals ….ha! so proud of myself and so very broad minded too.

But this is all because of the person who took great care in building me. Yes, I still remember majestic walk of the person with a long coat, dhoti, a walking stick, large intelligent bright eyes behind dark framed spectacles whose dominating voice keeps on ringing in my well built walls!

But the agony I felt, when he left us, can’t be felt by someone with flesh and blood. There was a long silence for years but I still remember his words calling the center hall as a golden waist belt decorated with diamonds, as all other rooms were built around it.

I have seen all the children departing from me either by getting married or by settling down in some other part of this vast world.

But one could remain with me and took great care of me. I have seen him growing, and even his children growing …and now even his grandchildren playing all around the large space, running, jumping, quarreling, which are all sweet memories for me.

The long time watching generations and still I continue as I never feel I have grown old. The love and care and bond I have developed with this family makes me feel I am still a beautiful new bride.

Another model of the beautiful olden construction
Another model of the beautiful olden construction
The olden bungalows
The olden bungalows
The green backyard
The green backyard

DO YOU CONSIDER IT A WASTE OF MONEY TO MAINTAIN OLD BUNGALOWS

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An example showing an old but  well constructed building
An example showing an old but well constructed building
A picture depicting the demolished building
A picture depicting the demolished building

I am happy I am not abandoned !

When ever I think about my house, I feel that its happy that its not demolished or remodeled unlike the rest of the houses which were constructed beside it. Almost all the houses in my colony have been demolished to have a new modern look which i regret. I always feel the pain when they are being left for solving some purpose which I feel as selfishness. Why aren't they considered as heritage and taken care of ? Our ancestors may have worked hard for these bungalows and may have many hopes on the coming generations that they would take care of their properties or products.

THE CONSTRUCTION

The archetypal bungalow consisted of a low, one-stored, spacious building, internally divided, having a symmetrical layout with a veranda all around, situated in a large compound.

The bungalow as a house form is a contested concept of heritage in the Indian context. It is often perceived in scholarly discourses as a building type with a strong imperial ancestry. It was a counter concept to the more or less socially-geared, collective lifestyle that was manifest in the urban and rural dwellings of a vast number of indigenous settlements of India.

The idea of a house in the center of a plot, this popular type got transformed in different regions of India. Thus, an imperial sociopolitical house concept metamorphosed in the colonial and post colonial period into a widely popular and aesthetically rich cultural icon. It became a part of the mindset of the populace and developed many sociocultural meanings along with spatial, stylistic and technological variations, terminating in the modernist house.

However, with increasing land pressures since the 1970s, other housing types such as apartments became more widespread. In the twenty-first century, these bungalows have become significant symbols representing a sociocultural past that is fast disappearing as a result of rapid population growth and accelerated urbanization. Colonial bungalows, with their staggering regional variation and expression, have yet to receive adequate recognition as valuable heritage. I feel these strong and old constructions should be maintained as a heritage and never be abandoned. Is it so hard to conserve them? Even if one gets relocated to some other place these constructions should be maintained and need not be demolished only because they are not of any use now.

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