Peel, Warp, Rust

Urban decay. From a bird’s eye view, an old city overgrown may look as clean and composed as a modern metropolis. But for an insect on a wall, every surface is a landscape; cracked and scarred, bruised and faded. Paint peels, creepers climb, and dust invades, creating an eerily beautiful  visage of element and age. Historic Fort Kochi has no shortage of crumbling buildings and waterfronts, most of which are still in use. Mattancherry’s spice wholesalers operate out of buildings with as much character as themselves, and ferries come and go from half-sunken jetties of old stone. Any of a thousand walls can be seen as a canvas, small pieces of which may paint a tale of time.  Continue reading

Urban Deterioration

You see them everywhere you go in India: buildings crumbling, their bricks and mortar moldering and turning to dust over the decades. Paint peels, debris accumulates, industrious plants creep surreptitiously along the gritty terrain until before you know it, a small forest occupies the ruins where Uncle Kumar’s tea shop once stood. But that’s urban decay. I like to call the process itself urban deterioration – the point at which the elements’ progress is visible, and still reversible, but steadily inching towards, for all intents and purposes, the end of a small bit of civilization.

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