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Vastu Wins Over the Sceptics

March 6, 2023

Anurag Yadav

When market sentiment governs ideas, even die-hard rationalists readily succumb to the traditional logic they might have raised their eyebrows at a few decades ago. 

Of all the equipment needed to develop a perfect kitchen, a compass might perhaps turn out to be the most important. Designers do use the compass at times, especially if they are still dealing with paper drawings, but it is the other compass we are talking about here.

These days home buyers and even builders often incorporate the traditional science of Vastu Shastra while designing homes, especially kitchens. A general survey of Vastu details reveals that it is as much about common sense as about the effect of celestial bodies, planets and the flow of energies.

There was a time when a condescending smirk was all one got when the topic of Vastu was raised. Today, even highfalutin progressive construction companies proudly add ‘Vastu compliant’ to the list of special features of their buildings. When it comes to kitchens, the term is added with much more vigour and emphasis as even the most rational of buyers do not really mind the adherence to the principles of Vastu, as long as it doesn’t severely hamper their ideas of space utilisation.

The kitchen for any home buyer is the nerve centre of the home. While the bathroom may be a personal space for all, the kitchen is the personal space for the entire family as a unit. It is the space that results not just in intra-family bonding but also relationships outside the immediate circle of family members.

As entertainment becomes a primary human social discourse, the kitchen is becoming a central part of entertaining at home. The concept of a closed kitchen or the kitchen as a room is passé. It is not just the lack of space that governs this trend but the imperatives of a free flow of movement between the kitchen and living room that dictates the seamless merging of both spaces.

Therefore, the significant attention to Vastu guidelines is quite explicable. It is here that the compass gains prominence. The erstwhile idea of having the kitchen window open into the outside space is just not enough. While common sense dictated the need for kitchens to be located away from the interior sections of the house, today the direction of its placement is a factor builders and designers are quite concerned about.

There is hardly any designer, architect or builder in India who can afford to challenge Vastu as mumbo jumbo. Photo Courtesy: iD Interiors on Unsplash

A builder once jokingly remarked apartment buyers merely read the mention of ‘Vastu compliant’ in the brochure of the apartments he had built and moved on with it. Today, after having incurred a serious dent in his business because of a basic wrong placement of the kitchen according to Vastu laws, he is much wiser. Apparently, the kitchen was perfectly airy and well-lit by natural light but since it was not exactly in the southeast or northwest direction, apartment buyers were put off by the idea of poor Vastu planning, than by any architectural flaw.

A decision like buying a residence-bungalow or flat is a major step in a client’s life. A slight doubt, even if unfounded can have a perverse effect on their decision-making process. No wonder, the Vastu compliance by builders is no more a light subject to be tossed about with alacrity. There are serious Vastu consultants with suitable academic pedigrees who are presented as star designers nonetheless.

There is hardly any designer, architect or builder in India who can afford to challenge Vastu as mumbo jumbo. Everyone is careful not to upset the principles enshrined in it. While Vastu goes on to prescribe colours and textures as well, the prime factor of directions and location is something no designer, architect or builder worth their salt is willing to trifle with.

The compass is now an integral part of their kit and there is no going back on it.