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Cobblestoned Streets is about a certain type of primitiveness that has been morphed for urban consumption…

stone paved streets of europe

The first impressions I had about roads during the childhood years did not come from my parents complaining about the civic apathy when it came to how the city roads are paved or maintained. My impressions were borrowed from the opening sequence of a Sherlock Holmes TV series adapted for a 40-minute show on Sunday mornings. This was during the late 80s and I was still ascending towards middle school. This sequence had horse-pulled carts and policemen with big, shiny leather boots walking around on stone-paved roads. At this point, I did not know about what cobblestone is and how many European cities maintain their heritage of cobbled streets. This impression has stayed with me, the images still very vivid. The love for stoned roads did not go away even when I traveled to other cities in India that are doing a lot better than Delhi. Over the years, lots of TV watching helped me realized that the cobble-stoned street is somewhat of a legacy that our European cousins have consciously tried to sustain.

To this day, there is something very lovable about them, at least for me. The sound that tires, footsteps, footwear, or even water makes when hitting the stoned turf is rather unique. There is a bit of solidity about it. The usual hollowness is not there. The lack of echo in this sound translates into a certain type of inherent strength to me. More so, these roads seem so uniform. These streets invariably look as if they were carved from solid rock — something that assures me, soothes the mind and says that when walking upon these surfaces, there is nothing to worry about. The lack of the usual gravel also means a certain type of shimmer. If you have ever noticed that when yellow light reflects of stone-paved streets or when it is drizzling, these roads seem to develop a rather unique type of glistening look – almost everything I love about a road. Even when broken, even when the lines and cracks are showing, even when there is some surface unevenness, the cobblestoned look seems to swallow the unsightly aspects, still holding-on, very proud of its inheritance…

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