Monday, February 22, 2010

A Dinosaur House


You and I probably didn’t go to the same school but the first ‘house’ we drew has to be identical. Wasn’t it a triangle roof, with one door and two windows? It had a big tree behind the house and a flower garden upfront? Yes yes, it’s all the same. I’m born and brought up in suburban Bombay. It wasn’t until my eighth birthday that I actually saw a 'house' like that. Pity me? That’s fine; but please help me understand what kind of house should a four year old be drawing.

As a student of Class I-A, I once drew a ‘house’ which was the aerial view of our 2 BHK apartment. My teacher wasn’t amused but sitting on the third bench in center row, I couldn’t possibly fathom what was wrong with my drawing. After many years of drawing the “ideal house”, I realized that those art lessons were instead a lesson in Geometry. Angles were more important than aesthetics. Lines were more important than landscapes. It bewilders me why kids are taught to draw this “ideal” house even today. I wish they are explained that they aren’t drawing dinosaurs and such houses do exist. 


Curious to know more I grabbed my neighbours’ three year old daughter and ask her what the drawing (above image) was. She promptly replied “House”. The mother shifted in her place to look proud while I felt both sad and relived at the same time. In Bombay, anybody who stays on the ground level (in a setting like that) is either a multi millionaire with a huge ‘bungalow’ or a daily wage labourer in a makeshift ‘hut’. Having seen more huts in suburban Bombay than bungalows, I am going to teach the little girl to call this a ‘hut’. Add a gate to the same thing with a security guard outside and I’ll show her a ‘bungalow’. 

Ting Tong! That’s my door bell. In ten paces from here I will reach the door of my 7th floor 2BHK apartment. I hope it’s the kid next door because I also want to show her what sunrise behind brown-crayoned triangular mountain actually looks like.

10 comments:

  1. Misss the crayon days... I will submit my house painting too..

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  2. wow.... i love this.. took me back to my drawing classes.... i scored 10 on 100 the least in class :)

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  3. Yes, please send me your 'house' paintings. I will post them all here!

    @Janani- You are an achiever! Very few can boast of something special like that (winks). Thank you for visiting my blog. Like many others, childhood memories are my favorite daydream. Hope to share more with you.

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  4. Add a boundary wall and a gate to a hut and it becomes -- at least in a drawing -- a bungalow! I like that.

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  5. i always dream of my own house in the middle of a forest or on top of a mountain overlooking a valley with a flowing river. poor me, i keep shifting from one rented house to another for a decade. perhaps, thats why my daughter draws mostly houses. its the same house. triangle roof. one door, one window and a staircase! only the colors, sunshine, moonshine, skylight and star-scape vary :)

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  6. i am leaving a comment but still would like to meet for coffee ;).. nice post.. keep it up! reminds me of some days.

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  7. i so hope such don't become fossil fuel man!!! Snigdha, i want to run away to a village and live in a "hut" after reading this!!! and have a vegetable garden at the back where all my kitchen trash will get used as manure, u must come and paint the walls :-D

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  8. You really took me back to my old memories...when I drew similar picture...I dint knew if it was a hut or a bungalow then...but I thought it more of a happy house where I would live with my family...and one aspect of it was..there were no neighboring houses near my house...it was on a bank of small river..with a small trail opening from my house and disappearing in the grasslands...there was always a bright sun and some crows..:)..
    All this just reminds me of simple pleasure and childhood innocence..!!..great work..you just revived the serene memories of childhood..

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  9. @Bishwanath- you got my favorite line there!
    @Ugly One- Hi, thanks for dropping a line. Unlike me, I hope your daughter gets to see a house like that much before her eight birthday.
    @Shivangi- hahaha..I'm definitely going to paint the walls- picture perfect. Just for you I'll also add a white picket fence with green creepers on them. Oh beauty! :)

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  10. @Mr. Anonymous, with the coffee plan you've given yourself away :)

    @Manish- Oh yes, I missed to add the sun and birds in my painting. You are the only one I know who can own a house like that very soon. So when that happens, please remember who gets to stay in your guest room first. Thanks!

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