Saturday, December 31, 2016

Lobby at leisure

This appears to be the verandah of a summer house, waiting quietly for its inhabitants to saunter through it for lunch in one of the more shaded areas. Not for it the hustle and bustle of people running around in search of - well, whatever it is that they would run in search of. It invites you to sit down, relax and exchange stories about what is going on around the world, and your opinion on those goings-on.

That is what actually goes on behind those heavy wooden doors. There are a few clues out there for you to guess where this is. The picture above the doors: on the left, the original holy cow, Kamadhenu, representing auspiciousness. On the right, the elephant, indicating strength and power. In between the two, grass (for new growth), the lotus (purity and independence), the Indian subcontinent (harking back to the pre-Independence days) and the sun, a source of vital energy. In the centre, the conch reminding everyone that this organisation carries the voice of the people, and is the announcer of vital news.

Yes, this is one of the lobbies in Kasturi Buildings, the home of "The Hindu". In case all those clues were not enough for you to have guessed it, there are portraits of two of the former Managing Directors of Kasturi & Sons: Narasimhan and Kasturi. Maybe it is difficult to be footloose and fancy-free under their stern gaze. In any case, "The Hindu" is not known for its frivolity or frothy reporting - and we are so much the better for it!

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