Saturday, February 10, 2007

Signage in Cliff Bazaar

It of course begins with the common “To the cliff” painted on wood in many different ways at the many junctions one encounters as paths wind their way to the beach and the cliff. Once you are on the cliff, there are signs that say German Bakery or Ayurvedic massage. A restaurant has its own kind of signs. Quite often, it is a blackboard. It does seem like an all-time favourite. You can wipe it clean every day and your signage is for now, only for today! It is always new, never more than one-day old.

Then, there are signs that are for longer, but are also hand-made. These are the wooden signages that tell you that here is your german bakery and your thai cuisine. The wooden signs are attractive because they are hand-crafted and one of a kind. They do not use printing technology and are very pleasing to the eye.

There are places for ancient arts like Kathakali and the ayurvedic massage centres. Their signboards are always in vinyl – the most modern of signage material. The art is ancient enough, the sign must be contemporary and with the times? The vinyl ones are also popular because they can be lit from behind. As the sun sets and the cliff & sea plunge into darkness, the vinyl signs are visible in entirety. The cliff bazaar at night is lit from lights within the crafts shops and without. The path that meanders by the cliff also has lamp-posts in cast-iron. But then, the cast-iron lamp-posts sometimes work and sometimes not. In the dark of the night, in Varkala, some signs you read, some you don’t. Early next morning, as you walk along the cliff, there is light everywhere. Once again, you read everything. That which is there, and that which is not.

Other Varkala posts :
Bazaar Tour 3 : Varkala
The Tibtetans at the Cliff
To the Cliff
Once upon a time, there were no signs
Signages at Varkala, Signages anywhere
Cafe Italiano & the Badam tree

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