The work on the roof is fairly prosaic in comparison. Over the past year I had collected a lot of country tiles that people were removing and discarding in favour of concrete roofs. These are semicircular and slightly tapered along their length. These used to be the produce of the local potter but are not made any more. I had gathered over 10,000 of them. Carpenter came from a nearby village. In four days the roof framing was up. Locally grown eucalyptus tree was used for framing. Then tilers came over, camped for three days and completed the laying of tiles.
What remained was the flooring. Velliyamma came on the scene again. The floor was first levelled and tamped. Then a cow-dung and sieved earth slurry was sprinkled generously over and pressed in. Over the coming years, cow-dung solution will be sprinkled periodically over the floor. They will gain and improve their soft and springy feel.
And finally here is the finished kitchen:
It is about 250 sft area. The walls are 5′ high and 80′ feet long and 18″ thick and took about about 12 days to build over 3 months, each day employing an average of 4 people. The roofing and tiling was done by contractors and took 7 working day. The kitchen cost me approximately Rs.70,000.
On September 9, 2008 the kitchen had its coming out party. About 23 people from 4 countries gathered to greet her, pretty her up and enjoy the pleasures of her ambience. A wood fired stove was used to cook a meal in the kitchen. We sat on the floor to eat the meal. That’s a story for later.