I was in the UNESCO Heritage Site in Jaipur – the walled city area a couple of days ago for street photography in Jaipur. While passing through a bylane, I noticed this old Haveli and quickly snapped it in this frame. Jaipur is one of the best places for street photography in India.
Later, when I shared this with a couple of people, the reactions were diverse. Someone liked it because it was an authentic scene while others thought there is no narrative or it doesn’t convey a story.
My thought differs. In my opinion, the building is akin to the protagonist. If you look carefully, the arched doorway in the courtyard contains beautiful frescoes. This Haveli must-have been beautiful in its heydays. The marks of shoddy repair work are evident in many places.
This courtyard must have been a vibrant place; courtyards served as a living area. In the current times, it is nothing more than a parking lot for the scooters and bikes. Parked on the left side of the arched gateway is an old scooter which has been unused for years. Presumably, it has not been disposed of because there are many memories attached with it; too hard to part away with? It is suffering its lingering death.
Even though the house is not well-maintained, it holds many memories and emotions. While many old Havelis/homes have been demolished in the walled city to make way for modern construction, some owners have decided to cling on to old structures. Why? Home is not just a building or a shelter, it is a feeling.
What do you think?
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