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BELONGING IN TRANSIENCE

         In Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, he describes the city of Trude in the chapter on continuous cities. The city’s distinctive character is its undistinguishable nature. The sameness of it is carried out in the landscape of the city; the flowers, street signs and houses. When the chance to leave approached, the people of Trude said, “you can resume your flight whenever you like...but you will arrive at another Trude, absolutely the same, detail by detail...only the name of the airport changes.”   For nomadic communities, they carry the city of Trude with them rather than arriving at it. Though temporary, the tent features a sense of continuity. It goes wherever the makers of the tent travel...

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Habitat

    Figure 1: Podaegi- Korean Sling.  For many women, the option of leaving their babies at home to be taken care of does not exist. To make ends meet she must step out to work and carry her baby along with her. Strapped to her back, the baby sling gives her hands and body enough space to do her work and at the same time to tend to her child every once in a while.   The cloth used to strap babies onto the parent is considered sacred in many cultures found in Indonesia, China, Peru and India among other countries.  The size, material, colour, motifs wish the baby a prosperous life and act as a protective charm as...

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INTERSECTIONS

Figure1: Dayanita Singh, Museum of Chance.    The presence of a story can be felt in the silence of the room. Who used to live here? Do they still live here? The objects- the bed, drawers, tiles, curtain, window seem to have seen it all. What did they see that we didn’t see? The feeling of home is hard to define. It varies and adapts but there’s something constant enough about it that allows it to be used as a phrase. Home, like the heart, is centred and whole.  It sustains itself and life in turn, through its looped structure. The loops, Tim Ingold explains, are like knots or a chorus that come together to sing a melody. The invisible connections...

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FOLDING FORMS

Figure 1 - Emily Jacir, Belongings. As we witness the passing of a year since the lockdown and the pandemic, we reflect on what the year has given us. Millions, over this year, migrated towards their homes when the lockdown was first announced. What is it about the home that urged people to make their way homeward and how was it for those who were forced to be far away from home? In an attempt to define what a home is, Mary Douglas describes what it is by comparing it with other institutions. She says, ‘Home certainly cannot be defined by any of its functions. Try the idea that home provides the primary care of bodies: if that is what...

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MOTIFS IN PAIRS- AN ODE TO PARSI PAIRS

Figure 1- A Pair of Magpies   The practice of love for a community takes shape in the most intimate of ways – conjugality. Yet, the intimacy is dictated by the needs of society. A  heterosexual couples’ ability to procreate, places them as one of the foundations of society. Love, in a conjugal relationship need not necessarily centre itself around romance. Love plays out in the steps they take together; being responsible for each other, setting up a home together and preparing for the next generation.  Dwindling communities like the Parsis have been actively trying to keep their legacy alive by pushing for a baby boom. In 2013, a government funded scheme was set up known as the ‘Jiyo Parsi’...

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