Surface finishes are more important than Directions–Col Tejandra Pal Tyagi,

Imagine for a moment that your Bed Room is exactly oriented and located as per the postulates of Vaastu Shastra. Does it automatically mean that you get all the benefits of Vaastu ? No. If we go through the ancient treatise on Mayyamattam, Samrangan Sutradhar, Sthapatya Veda and the Mansara, we find that Surface Finishes, Shape of the Building, Ratios, Proportions, Illumination Intensity, Sound Vibrations, Plinth Level, Cosmic Energy etc are far more important than the considerations of North, South, East and West. Let us take the example of Surface Finishes in this article.
Plastic emulsion acrylic paints are long lasting, within reach and good looking. In an air-conditioned room where the cross ventilation is missing and where the openings in the room generally remain shut, if plastic emulsion paints are applied they, in essence, strangulate the walls. These paints contain long polymer chains of molecules and hence are virtually without any pores. Such surface finishes neither breathe themselves nor do they allow the breathing of the walls over which they are applied. Imagine further that the said room has been given a water proofing treatment over the roof. Let this water proofing treatment is mudphaska type. To ensure that there is no leekage or seepage through the roof, we put a polythene sheet below the mudphaska treatment. This amounts to strangulating the Roof. By implication it means, that we have stopped the breathing of the walls and the roof by applying plastic emulsion paints on the walls and by putting a polythene sheet over the roof.


Let us move further with our modern life style. There is air conditioning in the room. Air conditioning means removal of dust and control of temperature and  Humidity. To reduce the load on the  air conditioning system we seal with deadly precision any crevices or openings in the room. The room has now become an air tight bag whose internal temperature and humidity can not be regulated by the external temperature and humidity. To top it, we take a decision to reduce the number of fresh air changes and re-circulate the already conditioned air. Now imagine that if you are sneezing or coughing in the room the same viruses are circulating in the environment of your room again and again. The inside environment is more polluted than the outside environment. This exactly is called the SICK BUILDING SYNDROME in United States of America. People are OK over the week ends but once they go to their work in the centralised air conditioned offices which are not open to the atmosphere, they suffer Headache, Common Cold or Fever or some such ailment. The reason is simple; they are working in a more polluted environment than outside their premises.

Does the aforesaid means that we prohibit the central air conditioning ,in specific, and air conditioning, in general. No. It will amount to bankruptcy of the mind since there is no problem which is bigger than man. A little thought will reveal that we should use those cosmetic finishes which  comparatively breathe better, for example : water emulsion paints, snowcem, distemper, lime finish, tiles and stone finishes etc. As regards the air conditioning, it will be in the fitness of things if the air conditioned space is subjected to open atmosphere at regular intervals. To reduce the inside pollution, NASA has suggested ten indoor plants. Bamboo plant is one of them. We will discuss the type of materials ( Metals Vs Insulators) we should put in our surroundings in the next article.
Author :
Col Tejandra Pal Tyagi, Vir Chakra,
B Sc, B E (Civil), M Tech (Structures)


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