* In a rare Jhula Fest happening in the city, apart from ceiling and stand Swings, there are myriad varieties with equally interesting stories and work on them
Be it the Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson’s age-old poem asking children How do you like to go up in the swing, Up in the air so blue’ or the renowned Indian dancer Pt. Birju Maharaj’s famed performance for ‘Jhoolat Radhe Naval Kishore” where his movements communicate the ‘soft tension’ of the ropes that hold the sway for Lord Krishna and his companion Radha…the swing (Uyyale in Kannada) has endured generations of thinking in the entire universe.
With many kinds that occupy our homes today, the swing is a metaphor linked with expectations, positivity and love. It is believed that a swing is symbolic of one’s souring desires touching the sky and alternately saluting the earth to stay balanced and rooted. A jhula or a swing is almost synonymous with relaxation and pleasant memories and they come in so many varieties – cradles, wooden planks, jhulas with back rests, decorated tiles or delicate carvings, swings with duco and distressed finishes, not to forget the newer versions of cane and wrought iron swings for outdoors.
To rightly take the history of the swings (or the jhula) across to people, Madhurya Creations on Kanakapura Main Road is presently holding a 10-day ‘Jhula Fest’ (from January 22 to 31) a rare showcase of nearly three dozen varieties where people can see, buy and take tips from creative interior designers, carpenters and polishers to have the exactitude in place. One can also order to get custom made jhulas, as they will be displayed online concurrently (Madhurya.com).
Madhurya is into restorative work in arts, crafts and weaving, with furniture being a one of the boutique’s forte. The in-house carpenters here either restore the sourced heritage furniture or replicate them in teak and rosewood. Speaking about the intention of having the Jhula Fest, Bharathy Harish, Co-ordinator, Madhurya Creations, says, “The Jhula has always been an integral part of our childhood memories and is synonymous with relaxation and family time. So we thought it would be interesting to start the New Year on an optimistic note celebrating the Swing.”
Just as the construction sector is seen waking up after the lull of the pandemic for almost a year, furniture and the allied products for interior designing too is getting a boost. Given the fact that we are also witnessing more contemporary built spaces, do swings still continue to have an allure for the modern minds? “Cities like Mumbai may not retain them in smaller spaces, but other metros and cities with larger designed interiors have swings in open verandahs, below their skylights, as part of their dining and drawing or even as an artistic divide in a space that needs to be demarcated,” says architect and interior designer Leena Kumar, National Secretary, Indian Institute of Architects & past Chairperson, Indian Institute of Interior Designers (IIID) - Bangalore Regional Centre.
Much in demand surprisingly, Leena says she sometimes finds most people building a house, queerly, asking for swings. “It’s in the people’s wish-list to have a swing. We do not push anyone into having one. Of course a swing reputably gels in all conditions of décor - ethnic or modern. One has to decide on the kind of swing – decorative or plain in wood or metal ones for outdoor,” she says.
But is it critical to decide on having a swing during the construction stage? “A jhula can be fixed in retrospect also, provided it is anchored into a beam. It is not recommended to be anchored into a slab directly as they may be substantially heavy. It is best, however, if its location is pre-determined and hooks already in place during construction,” says Leena.
Leena says people hardly think that having a fixed element in a décor is rather stale. “In fact we all know it takes up space as the movement of the swing is also to be considered. But give people options of a decorated or carved door, they still choose a swing for all the positives associated with wood and the jhula,” says Leena. “Perhaps this is the best way to patronize the native artisans to revive the fading traditional art forms and skill sets from ancient India, post the pandemic!”
P. Rajaiah, originally from Rudrapatna near Hassan district who has three swings installed at his home in Rajarajeshwari Nagar says “The huge wooden rectangle piece that hangs at the drawing with brass trimmings and a supporting cushion is often seen with my kids happily swinging. By the night the family is around it for late night gossips or just about a place for clustering together. This has been going on for generations.”
Achyut Yagnik and Suchitra Seth, in their book Ahmedabad: From Royal City to Megacity, note how the jhula, also called the hinchka or hindol is “ubiquitous in Hindu, Muslim and Jain homes. The jhula was one thing most homes had in common, woven into the fabric of Gujarati life, apart from carved wooden cradles handed down generations.”
At Madhurya’s Jhula Fest, there will be several varieties, sizes, designs, accessories and subject experts to advise customers on their buy. “You can choose to accessorize with furnishings according to your requirements. There will be a parallel online offering. And the offline fest will follow all safety and social distancing norms,” says Bharathy.
(Jhula Fest, January 22 to 31, @ Madhurya store, Art of Living premises, Kanakapura Main Road. www.madhurya.com / 7019138680)
* According to Vastu principles, swings can face East or North-East
* A chain set in brass or steel - comprising of a rod, S and W hooks and base plate will be provided with the swing at the Jhula Fest
* For installations on the ceiling, the height of the Jhula should be 18″ from the floor. The distance between the anchor bolts should be the total length of the plank minus 6 inches.
* A swing can carry a weight of 250 to 275 kgs; one can also have duco-painted and distressed finish on the swings
* Re-polish is necessary once in every 4 years depending on the wear and tear.