Main Door Installation, continued

The main door is important because every time you enter your home, you activate energy. You want to activate the most beneficial energy. Being raised as a typical American suburban kid, we didn’t think about these things. But I am now somewhat of a believer in house energy, feng shui and vastu shastra.

We once had a condo that violated a feng shui principle, but we didn’t know it at the time. When you walked in the front door, you could see straight through the house and out the large back windows. Apparently this causes money to flow  through the house and out the back window. Which was true in that place the entire time we lived there. Until the day we sold it and our financial picture turned around dramatically and immediately. I will never again live where you walk in the house and the first thing you see is the outdoors across the house. Also, we could see the guy who lived behind us smoking outside all the time and peering into our house. Uh, welcome home? Creepy and negative stuff all around.

Because the main doors to homes should be treated with reverence, there are rituals to do when you install the main door frame. In India, Muhurtha is an aspect of house building. It’s important when you dig a well, lay a foundation, install the main door frame (this ceremony is called Vasakal) and when you first enter into the new house  (Grihapravesam). The main door’s threshold serves to protect the household from perils and diseases, and it paves the way for prosperity.

My husband’s horoscope was checked to determine the best time for the Vasakal ceremony. This bothers me slightly, as I am an Aries and a first-born, and Aries like to be first. At the very least, we don’t like to be left out or forgotton. But I shall survive.

Here are photos from a previous Vasakal ritual on the property:

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Main Door Installation, to be continued …

Patti warned last October, “Sarathy doesn’t know anything.” Thus this post is short on detail. Now his wife is fascinated and asking questions. Why is the front door being installed precisely at 9:30 p.m. Central time today (early morning in Chennai)? Why will a cow be in our apartment? So the cow will go up three flights of narrow staircase? What is this ritual called? You for sure are asking someone to take photos?

I hope to learn more today than whether the Steelers or Packers will win, and what the Black Eyed Peas will do during halftime, and whether Christina Aguilera will hit the high notes. There are rituals much older than these to know about.

More to follow soon …

For my readers who are wondering — patti is “grandma” in Tamil language. We unfortunately lost patti to old age shortly after my husband visited in October. He was grateful to have a few weeks with her. She lived a full long life and brought a big family to the world, and she was very wise about people.

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Balcony Enclosure

Speaking of the “ugly photos coming soon” message posted earlier today — and the process of turning unfinished space into something glorious — while blog surfing earlier today I found this photo which gave me an idea:

Our India apartment has two balconies. One is a larger balcony with room to sit outdoors. (The whole building also has two generous outdoor terraces accessible to residents, each 1200 square feet.) But the other balcony has a depth of only 18 inches:

We were planning to install French doors here anyway, and I imagined swinging them open and letting sheer curtains billow in the breeze. It’s a 10-foot wide opening so there would be two sets of substantial doors. But then again, I am from the Windy City where I hear wind blowing around our house as I sit here now. Perhaps my dreams aren’t so realistic for a place in Chennai. The effect may be more like receiving a humid furnace blast in the face much of the year.

But, what if this balcony were enclosed with windows and architectural trim, as the photo above? This would bump out the interior space a bit too, and would eliminate the issue of French doors gobbling up otherwise usable space. We’ll have to check on the restrictions and the effect on the exterior. It’s an idea to consider any time you can take advantage of it, because even a small amount of floorspace can make a difference when you think of the cubic space added. It’s not that we really need the space. The apartment has a very open and spacious floorplan. Mostly, I like unique nooks and cubbies of the kind that Sarah Susanka advocates.

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