Jan 2022

Indian homes and even apartments have excellent ventilation. The windows are designed to be opened every morning to let the fresh air in, and there are plenty of them in each room for excellent cross-ventilation. If you think about it, it’s a perfect place to self-isolate during COVID. Of course, you need to close them after sunset to be spared by the mosquitoes.

Also, homes and apartments are built with balconies or terraces. These serve as excellent social gathering places with friends and interact with the street. The street noises and those from the neighborhood are essential soundtracks of life in India compared to the sometimes deathly silence of American suburbia.

However, most places have fortified these balconies and terraces with heavy cast iron grill-like coverings. Even my parents’ house has this rolling hexagonal shutter grill that we roll down every night. But as you see on the neighbor’s terrace across, it looks like a beautiful space with plenty of plants but marred with those ungainly barriers.

Sometimes those are installed to avoid kids falling off 1, but they are installed to deter crime in most cases. Growing up, we had the luck to avoid being robbed when almost all our neighbors’ homes were burgled at some point in time. There have been cases where the thieves entered the house, tied up the occupants, and proceeded to ransack the home at leisure. Such incidents lead everyone to be doubly careful, raise the fence heights (called compound walls in India), and install ugly security measures. I guess security before form.

  1. We knew of a family whose kid fell from the third floor window 😞 [return]
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