by Shashwati Talukdar
An airplane on top of a large house, a horse, a football, even a body builder — these are water tanks. The bigger and more fancy the house, the bigger were these amazing rooftop structures. When asked ‘why build a water tank of this kind?’ the answer was ‘shauq. ‘ That is, a gesture to the favorite hobby or aspiration of the owner of the house which could be body building, or soccer, or a gesture towards the airplane that took them to the outbound journey which then took them out of the country to earn enough and eventually build a mansion ‘back home.’
Perhaps, it was also a sign that wealthier the owner, the bigger and showier the water tank, thereby demonstrating that the owner was wealthy enough to have access to unlimited water. A resource becoming increasingly scarce with each passing year.
Photographer Rajesh Vora has done a photodocumentation project about the tanks with some fancy examples.
(Go here for the first post in the series)