Rural, Urban

On complexity of simple abodes…

The thing about limited means is that it ensures contentment, an amusing irony if you will… for all its glitzy advertorials, material abundance fails to guarantee a lasting gratification… that a majority of us are in the grip of its whirlpool despite most life philosophies advising otherwise is another matter, but the fact remains that a simple existence is hard to attain simply because it demands persistence with hardships…

Humble abodes, a bungalow outhouse in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand

Dwellings… houses… mansions… while the opulence of shelters aspires to be an indicator of wellbeing, it tends to fail quite miserably, for the human disposition doesn’t need much for gratification after all… hermits have their own ways to understand this, and for those not so ascetic, some evidences lie in simpler abodes, those myriad forms of the ramshackle that hold their own, against time, wealth or ideologies…

Humble abodes, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India

There are those in urban surrounds, an assemblage of materials patched together to offer some refuge temporarily, where a few meals, and rags, have to suffice… life is a lore on sustenance, a day, a wage at a time, no more, no less… there are some excesses here and there, few poisons to make a toxic existence bearable…

Humble abodes, Yamuna banks, New Delhi, India

Then there are some that manage to carve out a sanctuary of their own amidst concrete jungles, in plain sight yet concealed by small pockets of greenery… the street lights tend to look the other way as people carve out a prototype of the rural behind their back, an agrarian anomaly throwing a spanner in the (infrastructure) works…

Humble abodes, Plachak, Himachal Pradesh, India

Going away from urban constructs, these simple dwellings seem to become rejuvenated, at peace with their natural surroundings it seems… the relationship between the dwelling and the dweller becomes rather symbiotic, for these abodes are not muted, mature cuboids, there is an impatience in them making it hard to keep still, hence they rattle, squeak, crack, leak and speak in a thousand other ways, keeping the owners completely invested in their mischief…

Humble abodes, Purulia, West Bengal, India

Sometimes, they draw colours from the earth, inspiring arts and traditions that revel in the simple pleasures in the face of daily adversities… forging connections between the land and people, these abodes are a bridge… where subsistence is a never-ending challenge, these spaces are portals to a higher understanding, keeping its residents away from the throes of despairing antagonism despite all sorrows…

Humble abodes, villages around Agar, Madhya Pradesh, India

There is poverty in and around these dwellings, yet they still tend to exude a warmth… their dark, dank corners speak of a humbled, compromised existence but one can be surprised by the lack of despondency despite the circumstances… maybe ‘tis the earthy undertones, or maybe a stripping down to the basics leaving no room for ambitions or pretensions… we shape the dwellings and then the dwellings shape us goes the adage… but here, there’s a shapelessness, or a constant shape shifting rather, that finds comfort in a state of flux rather than stability…

Bateshwar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Musings on simple abodes across urban and rural landscapes…

Author: Parth Joshi

Allured by the outdoors, the author is made up in parts of that quintessential lost soul wreathing under the pangs of biophilia in a desk job, a wannabe elegist mostly ending up in dungeons of poetasters and an optimist waiting for the senility of the modern world to fade away while sampling shoots and leaves. In saner times, he has a keen interest in areas pertaining to tourism, history, agriculture and climate change, especially with respect to historical interpretations, emerging technologies and future livelihoods. An avid trekker, runner, cyclist, birder and photographer, he is more often than not found gloating over anything hinterland, on foot or over computer monitors, and fantasizing solutions that can foster inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods for communities at the grassroots.

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