Beautiful Colors of India in Villages and Small Towns
Whenever I travel, one of my aims is to click pictures of homes, not houses but homes. You cannot just walk into anybody’s home and click pictures; you would need to be invisible for that.
As I am yet to find my invisibility cloak ala Mr. India, I am just happy clicking pictures of homes from outside.
You see for last many years we have lived in an apartment complex, where you do not have much choice on the color of exterior, but one can play with decorating interiors with many colors and hues.
But when we travel to small town or rural India, that is where one truly discovers the colors of India. The real colors of India are found in its villages with colorful homes, temples, and rangolis designed to welcome guests and gods where athithi devo bhava ( guest is god) is not just a saying but a tradition that is still followed.
Just by looking at the structure you can tell if this is a house or a home, for a long time ago I read a small poem. Here are some of the lines from that poem that I just love reading again and again:
A Home Is Build Of Peace And Love And Not Of Wood And Stone
A Home Is More than Just a House
A Home Is Such a Happy Place Where Loved Ones Shared Together
A House Is Built By Human Hands, but A Home Is Built By Human Hearts
A House Is Built Of Walls And Beams. A Home Is Built Of Love and Dreams
A House Is Made Of Brick and Stone, A Home Is Made Of Love Alone
Traveling across India even in the remotest of places you are stuck by the beauty of a house just at one look that you are forced to stop and admire the same. While taking pictures I silently mumble to myself, “God, these people must love their home to make it so beautiful, please do keep on blessing them”
After clicking a few pictures I move on. Here Let me give you some pictures of some such beautiful homes whose pictures I have clicked at various places. Now, these houses may not be grand palaces of the Maharajahs of Rajasthan but they have been built with love, which shows in how people have decorated their home, to make it stand out. Now just imagine you are visiting a remote village and looking for direction and there are no proper house numbers in the village.
So the nice guy who is giving you directions tell you
“ Go straight on this road, take a left from the old banyan tree, walk for 2 minutes, then you will see a house with an airplane on its roof, that is where you need to go”
Yes, let me begin by showing you this house with an airplane on its roof.
While Rajasthan is known for its beautiful colors, it sure has a bias towards pink in Jaipur and blue in Jodhpur, I found no such bias in the small lanes of Varanasi and its ghats. In those small lanes where sunlight too has to struggle to reach and poets are hard to find nowadays, I found that a creative painter has already been there. Most houses in the small lanes of Benaras have beautiful paintings outside their doors showing paintings of men with sword, elephants, birds, flowers etc.
One observation that I had in rural India is that most of the houses will be painted in single color most commonly white or yellow but the entrance to even the most modest of the hut will be very colorfully decorated. I am not sure if this is to save money to paint the house or has some cultural significance to paint only the doors with colors of India. Check these two houses clicked in Chilkur Village, near the temple of Chilkur Balaji also known as Visa God.
Talking of Gods and their abodes, I think the best of the colors we Indians save for our gods and their places of worship. A gopuram of a South Indian temple has more colors than a rainbow and a flower market combined. Check this image of the Ranganath Swami Temple in Financial District of Hyderabad in Nanakramguda village.
Or look at this dainty church I found in Coorg, it is so small that only one person can pray at a time yet just look at the royal blue of the church that makes the azure of the sky look pale and the yellow flame coming out of a deepam ( small Indian lamp) on its wall.
We Indians have a very special relationship with colors, we play with them on our festivals like Holi and Bonalu and we must be the only people where women so meticulously paint a Rangoli on the ground to make our homes so beautiful and welcoming. While most days the rangolis may be simple on special festivals like Sankranthi the rangoli is elaborate and takes hours to be built, only to last for another few hours.
So what do you say? Don’t you agree that colors make a home more beautiful and make it stand out from others around it. A house is not a home till it is painted with colors of love carefully chosen by its residents. This post is written for Asian Paints Home Solutions contest, they have paints available in all colors and sizes that suit small homes also, and even to decorate the homes with special motifs and decorations that really enables people to have a beautiful home.
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