One of the most striking features of any South Indian house is the proud display of family photos on the walls of the drawing rooms. Typical family photo which comes to my mind looks like this. The head of the family sits majestically on a wooden chair with his coyly looking wife standing by his side. You may also see a "bunch" of children of different age groups standing on either side of the father.
In addition to that black and white family photo, you also find an assortment of wedding photos of uncles, aunts, children, grand-children, cousins and so on. I have seen in many houses the wedding photo typically capturing the moment of mangalasutra being tied on the bride. It doesn't end there. You find graduation photos with the black graduation robe or a tennis player proudly posing with a tennis racquet. These photos are very symbolic of the kind of relationship one has within the family.
My maternal grandmother had 9 children and you can imagine the amount of wall space all these photos took in the "Hall". It was very exciting to see your aging aunt or uncle in their prime of their youth and with a stiff upper lip as part of the marriage photo session. Now, we have at home only our Grandfather's photo in the "Hall".
Over the last few years, I am not seeing walls with family photos. Instead, this wall space has now been usurped by the random pictures of a deer or Krishna trying to steal butter or Tanjore paintings of Gods. Worst in some cases, a photo or an abstract painting with the idea of making the vastu of the home little better!!
Though they are not hung on the walls as earlier, these photos have not disappeared altogether. It has morphed itself into smaller size photo stands sitting precariously on top of the computer or phone tables and in most of the cases on top of the TV!!
But I really miss the photos hung in the order of seniority in the family on the wall.