As you saw from the earlier post, the cross in our garden has been around since the 80’s. That was when the grandparents and my parents decided to separate from the main family unit (consisting of nearly 80 people living in a single house) and build their own house.
It was a big decision and from the basic look of the cross, you can deduce that not only were tiles popular as grotto decor, but they also didn’t detract much from the true purpose of a cross – a religious symbol.
A handful of our neighbours who constructed the crosses in their gardens back then, used similar basic materials. Even grottoes depicting scenes like the Miracle at Fátima, Mother Vailankanni, the Pietà, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, the Infant Jesus, etc. were sparse in design and aesthetic value. They were simple and functional.
The 90’s and noughties saw a surge of Gulf and cruise ship money and suddenly you began finding houses in Vasai that boasted an adherence to primarily Western influences like faux tiled roofs and lush lawns. Crosses and grottoes underwent a similar transformation.
Today, you will find a diversity of crosses and grottoes in Vasai – right from specially commissioned wooden crucifixes to minimalistic stainless steel or decorative cement-work crosses. Some are beautiful and elegant while some merely frivolous and mildly grotesque.
Whatever these new trends may mean, there is a definite need for breaking out of the old ways and ideas while not forgetting the age-old traditions. This may very well be the new Vasaikar.
Ruminations aside, the cross in our garden is due for a renovation and simply thinking about all the new-fangled cross designs that abound gardens in Vasai these days is enough to confuse the true need for a cross with the need to have a cross that is easy on the eye.
A cross, before anything else, is a symbol of torture and after that, a symbol of one of the greatest beliefs of Christianity – redemption from sin.
I feel people really need to think hard about these before constructing or fashioning a cross for the primary and only use as a medium of worship. Hopefully, our garden can sport a cross like this one.