Painted Houses at Chennai

This is a house in a residential colony at Velachery in Chennai. What is striking about the image is the paint – fluorescent paint – in ghastly colours. This is a recent trend observed in different parts of the city. These colours are not so pleasant to eyes. Yet there could be reasons why people go for such paints. In some apartments, only the frontage is painted with such colours. Some sources say it has got to do with Vaastu.

Vaastu is considered significant in India as it is an ancient science on the use and correctness of the space. A friend tells me that such fluorescent paints are sold as Vaastu paints by paint companies to dispose of their not so fast moving shades. The second image is that of a mansion at Triplicane ( bachelor’s quarters in Triplicane area are called mansions).

The third image is a shopping complex coming up at Taramani Road which houses Peter England showroom in the ground and first floor. The frontage painted with fluorescent shade paint.

A search in google with “Vaastu – Colours” throws some 55,800 entries. One such site www.  correlates colours with Zodiac signs as below :

Zodiac sign Colors suggested
Aries                            Coral red
Taurus                         Milky white
Gemini                         Green
Cancer                         Rose red, pearl white
Leo                              Ruby red, dim white
Virgo                           Emerald green
Libra                            Cement color, milky white
Scorpio                        Pink, coral red
Sagittarius                   Golden yellow
Capricorn                     Dim red
Aquarius                      Pink, blue
Pisces                          Yellow, pure white

The same site also bring out the colors compatible with the directions.

It is common belief in this part of the world that certain colours are lucky, brings good fortune and certain colours bring ill luck. The marriage invitations are still printed in yellow colour and obituaries are bordered in black.

But why this sudden craze for fluorescent shades ?

Could it be true that paint companies are selling their slow moving shades by calling them Vaastu Paints ?

8 Comments so far

  1. dilip on September 18th, 2008 @ 4:13 am

    fantastic post balu. nice observation.

  2. praddy on September 18th, 2008 @ 8:08 am

    Maybe the owners wanted those buildings to be face-turning or famous and i think their target is achieved as they are a topic of discussion now.

    haha maybe as u said it is the paint companies ploy to sell the slow moving paints as vastu paints?

    good observation :)

  3. donthecat on September 20th, 2008 @ 1:01 am

    Ghastly ? Isn’t that too strong a word ? What’s wrong with bright colours ?

    You want everyone to like the colours YOU think are "ok". So which colour schemes do you think are "not ghastly" ?

    I guess you are being a conformist. Which is what Vasthu tries to exploit.

    My two sense….

  4. ravisha on September 21st, 2008 @ 10:11 am

    Not only in Chennai… i have noticed this kind of fluorescent paintings in most part of other towns in Tamil Nadu. Earlier it was considered to give the feeling of a so-called "country" color…. but i thought its a kind of new trend in the ppl who paint, becoz the painters are alwasy good in suggesting good looking colors. U say its vaastu???

  5. moyra on September 22nd, 2008 @ 12:28 am

    I am hoping someone could please explain to me about the effigy hanging in the last of three pictures. I am a western IT worker who worked with a Chennai BPO a few years back and had the great blessing to travel through India. I frequently noticed these effigies and wondered what they were about. Many looked to be images of Ravana or some other rakshasa…. is this true? I’d love to hear who/what they represent and why they adorn many businesses and houses through India.

    Thank you!

  6. d4dpak on September 22nd, 2008 @ 10:08 am

    Haha… those effigies are supposed to be kind of a mole on the building so that the evil stares of the people, and any evil forces may be driven away from entering the house. It is also common to paint a colorful but frightening image on a pumpkin and hang it in front of the house to keep the evil spirits away…

  7. ravisha on September 22nd, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

    moyra … its like this… U make or built something beautiful… and others will see it and envy on it, in the process of the envy, some people who sees it will generate a negative energy or force or evil sprit on the beautiful thing, which will lead to destruction….

    So in they put an effigy on a newly built house….

    hahhhh…I cant explain better that this…

  8. moyra on September 22nd, 2008 @ 9:46 pm



    So it d4dpak’s explanation… they are like the pumpkins we carve on Hallowe’en.

    And I love your description ravisha!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to explain this to me, I’d been curious about it for a long time! Say hi to Chennai for me – I miss it!

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