The Quiet Life
‘Quietly he lives, quietly he dies,
Amidst the wilderness’
-U Soso Tham
There are few more evocative descriptions of the spirit of Khasi life in the Cherrapunji hills. Even today, with the threat of mass tourism and growing urbanisation, parts of Sohra are still reminiscent of less restless times.
This rustic stone and pine wood house, designed by us in Sohra, Meghalaya was recently featured in the Elle Decor, India print and digital versions and I was reminded to share a few more details about the project.
Out of station projects such as this one often allow the opportunity to learn about other cultures in a deeper way. It’s an aspect of work I particularly enjoy. Having lived in Sohra for an extended period of time, I experienced a gentle pace of life and a kind community, proud of its history and land.
Cut away from the ease of city supplies and merchandise, we sought the skills of local iron smiths, basket weavers, carpenters and stone cutters. Their style was natural and unostentatiously elegant — in perfect understanding and harmony to the surrounding environment. Cut away from my regular environment and influences, I sought the knowledge of their diminishing indigenous religion, Niam Khasi. The Khasis have no temples, churches, mosques or synagogues. God is considered to be everywhere. All parts of the earth are sacred and one part is not more sacred than the other. The gentleness of this religion, its people, their land and culture certainly found its way into the design of this home. Much of the original design (sketched out in Delhi with reference books) was altered after my stay in Cherapunji. These images represent the texture of the project quite well. You can read more about the project on the Elle Decor site