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  • Dishon Edward

Why Is It Difficult For Us To Get a Sense Of Place.

Everyone loves to travel and may be some of them wants to continue living in the places they had visited because they liked the place, but, does everyone get a sense of place to stay there for longer ?

I don’t read many fictional books, but the once I read, the scenes keep running in my mind, as I keep reading, so it does for everyone who reads a book. Yes, when I watch the movie, the details that I imagined in my mind are not what I see in the movie. it’s basically, the universal truth that People who read the book won't like the movie… Because your mind has better version of it and if you think closer, the movie is actually the director imagination as he read the book. it’s not the movie u didn't like but the imagination of another person, which did not match with yours.

When you travelled to a place from your home, let’s say some hill station ( ooty or coorg) or place with green landscape ( alleppey, kerala).( you are picturizing the place, pretty sure that’s not what I picturised) well, At least for a moment in your mind you would have thought about settling there in the future or staying there for a period of month considering the beauty of the place. But the reality is, you know that you can’t stay away from the activity that you involved yourself in the city when compared to this place (like your friends, or weekend hangouts or going to beach).

It’s the mind. Right!

The “sense of place” evolves for people in the place where they are familiar or had an experience with. Most of the people are more comfortable in a room filled with their best friends than with the strangers. I believe it’s the environment that most people would like to surround themselves with. Because they like to have comfortable life for a long time rather than knowing and getting mentally adjusted to a stranger.

Travelling alone

It’s easy for gypsy or traveller to get used to a new place than a person who had stayed in a place for long time. Because, on the process of staying there, your mind does so much work, gradually gets moulded to that place and makes you a better person to survive in that place. But when you move away to a new place. You mind gets uncomfortable, tells you to go back to your old place, that’s when you try to be alert of everything that’s happening in your new surrounding since your mind is not ready yet, well, because it does not have the data of the place yet.

But a traveller or a gypsy does not feel that because his mind already knows that the place of stay is temporary, it will get tuned to new location faster. This attachment to somewhere, be it a natural or a built environment, is known by various terms including place attachment, environmental identity, and rootedness. I personally like “sense of place” as it captures simultaneously the idea of a location along with the more esoteric notion that it involves a feeling; an emotional response.

When you talk about temple Architecture in India, you are amazed by it because you know that they are totally a different structure when compared to regular buildings you see every minute in terms of scale, proportion, time period, materiality and more.

Tanjore, Brihadeeswarar temple amazes me a lot, people say Taj Mahal is the best Building in India, but I say it's Brihadeeswarar Temple, because Taj Mahal was built in 1650’s and the temple was built in 1100 ( I guess) and no one knows how did they manage to put those huge pieces of rock one over the other and it has the tallest tower in a temple in the world I believe and it was made up od 60000 tonnes of granite rocks. So, when you actually get to know about the building more, you are amazed by the facts and it helps you to see the building in a bigger perspective and that will give you Sense of place.

But the new temples that are built now, your mind knows that its new and it automatically compares to those big temples and tells you that its not worth it when compared to those building. Hence the sense of place for the new temples are always when that thought strikes you.

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