Tonight when the stars come out and the moon rises in the velvet sky, look outside your window, then raise your hand and position your fingers around the disk of light.
There you go . . . That was easy!” …Vera Nazarian
A home should give you a secure & safe feel with peace as well have a good aesthetic looks too. Now, secure & safe one can make any house by all physical means like durable material, locks, doors etc but how one makes oneself at peace & another factor is aesthetic factor of the home i.e. its looks for outsiders. Here the builders as well designers started knowing the importance of making the home more open to nature as that’s one sure way to have peace for the residents of the home & then we need a place from where we can be absolutely in tune with nature without being feel unsafe & there the term "Sajja" came in to the picture which now we call as balcony. But actually speaking it’s not exactly a balcony; it’s an open space at upper floor adjoining to the main house which is open to sky & from where you can be in actual contact with nature around. More rightly its terrace attached to the room & not top of the building.
In central India where the summers are extreme hot many a times this Sajja's are protected by "Gavaksha" i.e. sort of windows with ornamental "jali" carved in stones mostly. This served two purposes ,one is giving protection from heat waves & another was the view of the sajja was getting protected too, so the ladies of the house also can use it without getting watched by passer by traffic or from surroundings. Many of the Havelis or Wadas use to have central chowk open at ground level but then it has its own restrictions as it does provides the view of the sky but not the breeze which you get at Sajja level as well the view of the surrounding. And the classic example of such protected Sajja's is Jaipur's Havamahal! With ornamental red stone jali work protecting every Sajja at multiple levels an effect of most beautiful facade has been created. In northern India such Sajja's are created at every level so from any floor you can have your view as well breeze. Many Havelies proudly still carry the Sajjas & very beautiful Jalis protecting them at proper places. Many a times an open window like place is created at outer wall of the room where you can sit adjoining to it & enjoy the view around. In Europe also under the name of Balcony or Verandah such spaces have been created from ancient day’s in house building. Many a times such places have been beautifully decorated by plantation creepers like “bogunvllias" giving the whole outline a colorful effect. Rather in many families it’s a tradition to have their morning breakfast as well dinner at such places & get relaxed by being in tune with nature.
In later days of FSI & multistoried building the term Balcony was introduced which was a very similar in concept of Sajja but a wrong implementation in size at many places it was just four feet wide giving you no room to move as well restricted view of surrounding. Because of shortage of space the balconies also got converted in to the room only. Again the need for having your own piece of open sky started bothering designers & the term of Attached terrace come in to the picture. Many a must be thinking it’s another of developers earning way but what I feel, there has to be a place which should be in proportion with the size of your home & which should be open to sky or surrounding as that’s the place where you are free from the concept of getting confined by the walls & it’s this openness which makes your mind also open for the nature. And what kind of home it is which don’t have a place where you don’t get in contact with nature! Unfortunately I have seen such terraces getting covered or enclosed in the weirdest ways not only defeating the concept of the same but spoiling the esthetic view of the entire building. People use tin sheets or fiber sheets or use iron grills & things like that under the name of security & try to enclose this area also. It’s a pain to watch the horrible grill structure & enclosing of the adjoining terraces people do in the name of safety with various types of fabrication. I am not against safety of the occupants but ultimately safety is in our mind, there are ways to get it in practicality is what we need to understand. By covering such small adjoining terraces we are cutting ourselves from the sky is what we forgot! Well, can’t blame the residents too as when per sq ft rates are souring, every sq inch counts & in that race sky loss to enclosing walls is a fact.
Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani ! (Click the links below)
Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)
For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below
Think Green, Think Life