Lately, I’ve caught myself feeling nostalgic a lot. For things but also for places I’ve been & experiences I’ve had. I find myself keeping my favourite objects close by – a ceramic sculpture of my cat, a pearl necklace I got from my mom’s closet, polaroid pictures from the rainy months.
All my life, I’ve always felt like I was a city-dweller only, but the last year or so I’ve been feeling very disjointed about living in an apartment like I want to grow vegetables & take walks in the sun. Goa trips bring some respite – I find myself savouring every part of farm life – from cooking, to overseeing the animals; I don’t even mind the long walk to the nearest supermarket.
These photos were taken back in the village a few years ago – I spent most of my childhood summers there & got pretty acquainted with the facades of all the nearby homes, most of which were built in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, and many of them have been unoccupied ever since I can remember (which is the better part of three decades). Some of them are in states of decay even – most suffer from collapsed roofs, which end up being the weakest part of the home (terracotta tiles held up by wooden rafters). The walls are strong – they’re not built with cinderblocks or mud bricks, but laterite stone cut into the shape of bricks.
In the last decade or so, things have been changing somewhat rapidly though – there are a lot of new homes being built, either in previously open spaces or over demolished older Indo Portuguese villas. The new homes are all generic & extremely ugly, but that’s the cost of development I guess. The villas are gorgeous but aren’t too practical to stay in & the cost of restoring or maintaining an old home can be pretty high – they were all built before electricity & running water.
The house from these photos was always a favourite because of the distinctive resting lions on the gate posts – it wasn’t too far from my ancestral home & the sight of it was comforting even if I’d never met the family that once lived there.
But on one trip back home in 2019, we saw signs of an impending demolition & bricks to support a fresh construction. I’d carried one nice dress on the trip, so one afternoon I dressed up a bit & begged mom to take photos by the gate. A few months later, the home (& gate) were torn down & though I haven’t been back since January, I’m sure the new construction is coming along in full swing. I’m very glad I have these, even though they are just slightly vain outfit photos on the surface, they remind me of nice things.
The lesson I take away is that things will always change, & a lot of that change is out of our control. What we can do is savour the experiences we’re having in the moment, & enjoy the memories in the future. x