Mud Walls, Terracotta Tiles & Organic Cotton

A couple of days back I was speaking to my Chitappa (Chachaji) who lives in Ammanoor, a village near Arakkonam. That’s where my father’s family is from. My paternal grandfather bought this house in 1923… so two years from now, it will a 100 year old house ! This house has mud walls, terracotta roof tiles and a central courtyard open to the skies. So many summer vacations have been spent in this house.

My grandfather was a closet communist :). He had several books about communism and I have always been a book worm. I have read most of his books and for a long time I was deeply influenced by the communist thought process. I asked my Chitappa if he is planning to do some repairs in the house and what would it cost. He said, he doesn’t want to change the roof tiles because only ceramic tiles are being made these days.

Mud Walls ….

The heat in Gurgaon has been unbearable in the last few days. I just realised that houses in those days were made with mud walls and terracotta tiles because you just sprinkle some water over them and the whole house stays cool. No wonder I didn’t melt in the summer heat there even without an air-conditioner. India wasn’t generating enough electricity in the 70’s and 80’s so the fans would also run for a few hours and then there would be power cuts.

We live in concrete and glass jungles … the air-conditioner has to run almost throughout the day. What a huge waste of resources !! But the heat and humidity is unbearable.

Organic Cotton

I wear a saree everyday. Its what I love to wear and it lifts my mood instantly, however sad or upset I may be. The fabric of choice for summers is obviously cotton. One of the days I picked up my Lucknowi Chikankari saree that’s 17 years old and wore it.

Lucknowi Chikankari Saree

I have written about it earlier – The many shades of blue !. This saree has cotton yarn blended with some polyester or rayon because it started giving off static and wasn’t cool and comfortable. I immediately changed into an Organic Cotton saree that I had bought online from Cooptex. Its from Vadambachery and handwoven. I have written about this saree too in the same blogpost above.

Organic Cotton Vadambachery

What a relief !! It was cool and no static :).

Am seriously thinking of wearing a saree for my morning walks because I see so many fellow walkers sweating in their T.shirts and shorts/pants as do I. I anyway don’t run or jog so a saree is fine, would probably have to wear it a little higher so that the shoes can be worn with it.

Don’t know if its age, menopause or both – my tolerance for synthetic fabric has reduced significantly. It has to be either pure cotton or pure silk, nothing else. The silk-cotton combo is also not interesting to me personally.

#MudWalls #CottonSarees #IndianSummers

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