Sunday 3 January 2010

Open doors

Taking a break from Chennai and the many related aspects of Chennai, I went with my family to our home town Trichy after a hiatus. My aunt lives there with her family in the Railway colony. One feature that got me on my nerves was that her doors and windows were always open and the curtains always drawn apart. I found this aspect rather irritating as we had to be conscious pretty much all the time but then this also got me thinking.

Long ago, not very long, our grandmothers' houses weren't closed. They were always open and filled with activity. People used to breeze in and out doing different chores, children played running in and out of the houses, vendors brought their wares and sat in the verandah and were also treated to a drink of water, tea or buttermilk. But something changed after that. People began to get quite individualistic and then entered DOORS and FENCES. Doors always create a barrier which says without saying: "Please stop here. After this my private area starts. Please do not violate my space." We all have boundaries in different areas of the house that is out of bound for different people - relatives can enter beyond the door without any inhibition, servants also can enter beyond the door but have to head straight to the washing area, friends are welcome in the living room but not the bedroom, etc, etc.

Doors ofcourse offer security but in another sense they shut out an entire range of experiences and people. Despite the fact that my aunt was not very old nor her locality very ancient, her doors and windows always remained open. But what is interesting is the fact that inspite of the doors being open, there were invisible boundaries that were well-marked and no one violated them.

So reader what do you reckon of doors and windows.


  1. I guess in the past our home had nothing in it worth stealing... times changed there is the lap top, mobile phone, bicycles, more money. With the door it's closed most of the time and I could count the number of times I see my neighbours in the year alone. Sad isn't it. It's food for thought, perhaps if I left my door open more often, maybe my neighbour would leave theirs too!!!

  2. Hello Susan and welcome back, I have been on a short vacation as well.;)
    Happy 2010 to you.
    As for doors and windows, it depends on where they lead; if chances are low that anyone will ever enter, I keep them obstacle free and open. If that is not the fact, they remain closed and only I decide who is to enter; I value my privacy.
    PS: I FINALLY did the tag.;)

  3. It is funny that we have more doors to shut ourselves in and at the same time reveal ourselves through community networks like FB orkut.Anyways I have read about a place where the entire village is without doors.

  4. Doors dont only shut out, they also open wider than windows do..tho they may open seldom, they bring more in..and sometimes, they let more of you out, too!

    such a lovely have the awesome ability to forge simplicity from abstraction..its lovely! :)

  5. Gaia: After a long time eh. I missed you. Hope you are well. Hmmm. The more things, the more fear and the more fear, the more we lose trust. The old days also had many invaluable things but there was also trust and less greed.
    I still cannot fathom the idea of keeping doors open as a lot of mosquitoes will enter!!!

  6. Zuzana: How nice to see you after long! Thanks for the wish and I wish the same to you as well. Open doors were the delight of growing up days. But now . . . no more. privacy is both essential and also cutting off.

  7. Govind: Nice to see your name back on the profile name. I have read about that village. You are right when you talk about FB and Orkut. Real people find it better to connect virtually as it is safe and convenient instead of real contact which is most of the times laced with judgements, complexes, insecurities, etc.

  8. Bluey: So nice to read a comment from you after a long long time.

    Your comment made me think more than I usually do.

    How nicely you encourage me to continue writing. Thanks for that. Peope like you prod me on to write. (((Flying))).

  9. Ouf! I'm a bit of a private person, I must say. Doors are just fine for me, and windows, well... I keep mine closed most of the time. I'm a bit paranoid, maybe. But at the same time, I do agree with your very last couple of sentences. We can put up barriers or keep them down, but then it's always our affect, our behavior, that is the biggest indicator of our hospitality or the lack thereof. Once you are inside my home, you are my guest and my friend, and though there are boundaries, you are on my turf, and I've allowed you there. So, we can rest with one another and relax, to a large extent. It's a complicated process, actually, but we humans are very good at reading and understanding nonverbal communication. So, we'll always get it with whether or not we're welcome, and just how welcome we are.

    Very interesting post, by the way. But then, all of your posts are interesting, aren't they? :-)


  10. Ah Nevine, you always write nice things and this reflects your inner self. I am so glad to have found you in this mad mad world of web.

    I remember a history professor telling in a lecture that doors became prevalent only after the Industrial Revolution when people started accumulating things and more things.

    Joy always,

  11. Doors and windows open mean welcome. This time of year however, doors and windows closed mean cozy. Our home is full of interior doors. In the summer, all are open so the breeze can blow through. Right now, we carefully close them behind us, no need to heat the parts we are not using. At the same time, we take down the heavy drapes during the winter to allow as much light in as possible so we are not completly closed off. This is my first visit, I would like to visit again.

  12. Dear Kat:
    Thanks for coming by the meanderings. I am glad that you want to visit again. You are always welcome. Doors and windows have different functions and that I reckon from your comment.

    Joy always.

  13. Well, doors and windows are meant to screen visitors. The noble intention is to prevent harm of any kind that can occur due to unscrupulous visitors. It is more important to have the doors and windows of our minds open to receiving and giving the good deeds of the world.

  14. Vinay do you know that doors have a cultural background as well. The mind is another thing but the literal doors and windows are culturally bound.

    Thanks for that last line. Its very important.

  15. Aah...thought provoking..there are soo many doors which we create all around us.
    All of us are scared of getting hurt or being violated in any sense and to protect ourselves, there will always be an invisible wall/door. Eventhough your aunt kept the doors open, there are doors inside people who are roaming about. Everyone knows the limits deep down and don't want to cross them, lest they violate someone's privacy or cause embarrassment to themselves.

    Happy new year to you too my friend ^_^
    Have a wonderful year ahead.


  16. If I lived alone (I don't mean LONELY--grin) I would leave all doors and windows open whenever I was at home--shut them when away. But that is ME, I still trust that Peeps do not want what little I have. I mean, WHO needs a violin?

    Thanks for dropping by steveroni blog and especially for leaving a comment, so really nice of you! I like your place here, also, gets me thinking (which is not ALWAYS a good thing--grin!

  17. if i could i would live in a glass house with a glass roof - and double doors always open - however i do understand in today's world the need for more secure living - sadly, i do understand - a wonderful thought-provoking post, as usual, lady! thank you thank you for being such a wonderful gypsyfollower! you are a true friend who always brings a touch of sunshine with you!

  18. Deboshree: Thanks for the kind words. You are talking about metaphorical doors here. But there exists many similarities between the two but one is physical and the other psychological.

    Steve: Welcome aboard. Thanks for the following. I appreciate that. A violin is worth many millions to a musician. What if the thief is a musician???

    The doors of tribal communities are always open . . .

    Jenean: How nice to see you. Been long. Glass doors are scary. I get images now (naughty). Thanks for your lovely words.

    Joy always.

  19. I live in a penthouse so my windows are always open... and the doors too- I hate closing any doors- Which has given me some trouble, but only in the metaphoric sense of all this issue- thank God.
    It's all a matter of trusting the right people- and there the sixth sense plays a key role!

    thanks for coming by my blog!
    I like yours too!

  20. In my country, not only every house has curtains, but thay all have shutters as well. People are so peculiar about their privacy here.
    It always pleases me when I spend time in London or Amsterdam to see the houses lit up in the evening, no shutters, no blinds and no curtains. It gives a very inviting and warm atmosphere. It gives a feeling of "being safe" even though you're exposing your life to passersby.
    Here, in my country, I actually feel suffocation at all these closed, uninviting windows.

  21. Dulce: Thanks for coming by. Its a pleasure to have many aboard. And yes, I appreciate the following. Ah!Penthouse, sounds interesting. Trust, of course is the key and then the sixth-sense aids it.

    Khulud: After a long long time. Missed your comments and visits. Privacy varies from culture to culture, I reckon. It will make an interesting research.

    Love and joy always,



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