Sunday, January 17, 2010

A newer vintage

It does look really old, but my guess is that it hasn't yet crossed the century mark. From what I understand, mixed-use buildings - with shops at the ground level and living quarters above - in Madras of the late 19th century and the early 20th century were fashioned slightly differently. Not from a functional point of view, much of that did not change until probably the early 1980s. If the straight line of the tiles in front is broken by a gable-like structure, that (to me, in my limited understanding) is indicative of a turn-of-the-20th-century house. Sometimes, those houses would have more than one such gable, but even a single gable is a give-away.

A house like this one is probably at least a generation later. The later part of the 1920s was when it became fashionable to have images of gods and godesses built into the facade (Gandhi Peak being a great example). This building does not have the soaring vision of the Gandhi Peak, but it does find space for the Lord Krishna flanked by Lakshmi and Saraswati. The cherub is probably to emphasize that it is not a religious building, but a fashionable one, rather.

Guess it has to wait a bit for that century, still!


Leif Hagen said...

Very intricate work on that building! Fantastic artistry!

Shantaram said...

@ Leif: Isn't it? Too much of an overkill for a 'common' building!