Unless things have changed now, the streets had open drainage channels as well--primarily for the rain water. While not anywhere as clean as I would like the town to be--like many parts of India, open defecation is not out of the ordinary--I still liked to walk around and understand the place and its peoples. And take photos, of course.
Once when I showed this photo of a part of Sengottai to some, they were pleasantly surprised that the town looked this good. I suppose it is not unusual for an outsider to show how good things are.
I was reminded of Sengottai's streetscape when I saw this in Orosi, on the other side of the planet:
Here is Sengottai's main road:
In fact, there is more to the streets too--like how the tree trunks get painted to serve as alerts. In Sengottai:
And in Orosi:
It is not merely the streets, of course. The lush green vegetation all around. The mango trees and the banana trees. The railing outside people's homes. The hills.
From an upstairs window at grandma's home, back in the day before new buildings came up, we could see lights at the distant hill. With very little artificial light after sundown, it didn't take much brightness to reach the window.
In Orosi, from my balcony, I could see the lights at the distant hill. Those lights moved--the headlights of vehicles coming down the mountain. Sometimes they played hide-and-seek with me when their lights were blocked by vegetation or because of the curves the vehicles had to follow.
My father wonders why I go all by myself to places where I don't know anybody. But, he is getting used to it by now, I think. "Collect a lot of information" is what he said when I called him from the airport before shutting down my phone.
I think I should explain to him that, strangely enough, the more I travel, the more the places seem familiar. Not the same, but oddly familiar. Even when I don't know anybody to talk with. And even when I don't have anybody to talk with.
|A few minutes outside of Orosi|