Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mysteries of the subcontinent


No one's ever been able to explain the rubber bicycle tires lying on the thatched (and corrugated tin) roofs.

And what about the painted trees? Trees with their trunks painted white.

My great-aunt Evelyn used to have all the trees in the yard painted white from the "waist" down. I had only seen that in the American South. Imagine my surprise at seeing it all over India.

Rachel asked someone about the trees and they said "those trees are government property and can't be cut down." But like everything in India, I expect there is more than one answer.....


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2 comments:

KerinchiGuy said...

my guess is that the white paint on the lower part of tree trunks serves as reflectors for the oncoming headlights of cars. i imagine the streets of india are not so well-lit and having these reflectors serve a purpose in helping guide drivers round corners, roadbends and suchlike.

the bike tires? could they be to hold the thatch and the corrugated tin down when the wind blows.because of the blockage by the tires the wind would not be able to fully use its gusts to wrought havoc and blow the roof off.

Sarasvati said...

I asked about those white trees, too, when I saw them for the first time at the Tibetan Institute in Varanasi. They were all over the grounds (nowhere near any roads, though). My Tibetan friend told me, "that's for protection." He didn't explain protecting against what ... but perhaps as your friend said, it was so they wouldn't be cut down.

I love the different explanations...