‘When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight’~ sonnet 30
Porter’s rest/ athani- the last of its kind in our village Anakkara
The Porter’s rest ( Athani /അത്താണി /ചുമടുതാങ്ങി) was a blessing to many weary wayfarers carrying heavy loads. Placing their head load on the porter’s rest( without anyone’s help) saved the effort of keeping the heavy burden on the floor and lifting it up again.
The porter’s rest- a closer shot
The old Gate-house or padippura (പടിപ്പുര) is another vanishing sight. Most of the houses in Kerala used to have this main gate with tiled roof at the entrance to a compound; a long path leading to the traditional houses.
Padippura, the main gate-The formal entry to the compound with a traditional Kerala house.
The last one of the vanishing sights in our neighbourhood
Padippura (പടിപ്പുര) – Here’s the relics of a bygone era
The padippura leads to the portico or poomukham. The traditional Kerala homestead (Tharavadu) follows an architectural style of detached building called nalukettu, with a gabled roof and ceiling suitable for the climatic conditions and comprising a central courtyard (nadumuttam) open to the sky. This square courtyard in the middle divides the house into four sides. The four blocks enclosing the courtyard were named the northern block (vadakkini) the southern block (thekkini), the western block (padinjatta), and the eastern block (kizhakkini) divided into several rooms for various household activities such as cooking, dining, praying, storage of grains, sleeping and so on. The tharavadu may have one or two upper storeys depending on the financial status. Large families of many generations lived under one roof, enjoying the commonly owned wealth and facilities under the leadership of the matriarchal head of the family.
Remnants of past glory
Typical Kerala architecture of the past. Lime stone coated laterite walls, tiled roofs and wood work all over
Time, with its ceaseless pace, steals many a thing from us!