White scarf hanging from a window in South Sikkim

Confusion

White scarf hanging from a window in South Sikkim

Houses in Sikkim are slightly confused since the earthquake some time back. Traditional houses made of bamboo and mud are no longer favoured, because they collapse in an earthquake. Concrete structures would be safe, but are too expensive. Instead, people now build with bricks. Bricks are neither safe, nor cheap: they have to trucked up from the plains. Moreover, there are very few masons. As a result walls are seldom vertical, and window frames are seldom true. But the colours remain the traditional glowing whites and reds. On such a window, this silken prayer scarf hangs: presenting a picture of the contradictions of modern Sikkim.

Which is the frame and which the picture? is the traditional way of life the framework within which modernity blossoms? Or is a borrowed modernity the framework along which climb the vines of a fractured religiosity? I found no answers during my travels.

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