When the present met the past in thought.

The Team Hidden-Pockets during our visit to Jaipur trotted our way to the Amer Fort which once housed the royals of Rajasthan. It made us ponder how these historical places are now a tourist attraction, a public place.

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A place which was once inaccessible, with definitive instruction regarding access to space even though they coexisted in the same palatial complex. The class and the access to space were directly linked i.e. the closer one reaches the labyrinth the upper the class.

We were amazed to see the huge courtyards, the topography and the architecture. The view from the Diwan-i-am was mesmerising. While I (the photographer) tried to archive every nook and cranny of the mammoth structure in my camera what interested me more were the latticed screens and the coexistence of the past and the present. These jharokhas although are not specific to Amer Fort, they were predominant in most historical palaces and olden day architecture.

The jharokhas or the latticed screens..
The jharokhas or the latticed screens..

The tourists were diverse and so were their activities, some were busy enjoying the cool breeze, some were seen contemplating, most were seen clicking pictures and taking selfies. The olden day checkpoints were now inhabited by the present day Police force guarding the UNESCO World Heritage sight.
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In this photo-essay I have tried to look through these jharokas and contrast it with the non-jharoka or the non-constricted view.
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All bright and clear..
All bright and clear..
View from the latticed screen..
View from the latticed screen..

The attempt is to show the limited or the restricted view which these jharokhas allowed to the women who were otherwise restricted to the zenana. While in case of men it is only the space which decides the class, in case of the women the view too gets restricted.

 

 

DSC_0254Thinking of the present when I have access to the space in its entirety, it made me ponder as to how the notion of safety has trickled down to us, not in such a physical form as the jharokha or the zenana but conceptually in the form of safety and surveillance through gadgets like CC TV cameras which are the modern day incarnation of these very structures.

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Article and Image Courtesy: Pallavi

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