Migration from the rural areas to the cities has been interpreted in various manners by the sociologists, but in context of the outreach of artificial light to induce migration, the interpretation has not been enlightening. As a matter of fact the quotient of migration to the bigger cities has been also owing to the ability of the artificial light to cast a wave of spell on the first time visitor to a metropolitan city, or an urban area. The reference point being his original place of abode and the place were he has visited.
As the artificial light is able to blur the distinction between day and night, it provides the migrant an opportunity to work for extended hours and augment his income. The migrants as also the inhabitants of the cities capitalize on the ability of the artificial light to keep aside the finiteness of the artificial source of light and take on vocations of multiple dimensions to add to their incomes, as also contribute towards the economic growth as well.
After Edison uncorked this genie, artificial light has become a point of distinction between the urban and the rural areas, and it has emerged as one of the fundamental indicators of progress when it is applied with context to the rural areas. The ability of the artificial light to illuminate the cities in a novel form, more so capitalizing on the landmarks of the cities, be it of the architectural value or commercial value has been the defining contour giving character to the cities all across the world and India has also benefited immensely from the same. Harnessing the value proposition of the light to illuminate the historic architectures in a novel form, as also by creating new central business districts leveraging the advantages of artificial light, brought the uniqueness of the character.
Where one to talk about the Indian context in particular, one of the most celebrated landmarks of the country, which has attained this status is owing to the magic of the artificial light. The landmark is Marine Drive, which because of the illumination during the night is also known as queen’s necklace. It is the manner in which the illumination has been provided to Marine Drive has made it one of the must see spots in Mumbai. As a matter of fact the magic that artificial light brings about in transformation of a city is not illustrated in a much better manner than in Mumbai.
The sparse spread of the natural foliage around the city of Mumbai creates an ambience for the artificial light to spread its dazzle on a much broader horizon and no other city in India is able to evoke the magic of light in transforming the city in the same magnitude as it does for Mumbai. From the time it was lit for the first time, many a dream have been spread out in its background on the silver screen, but the quest for interpretation of this landscape still continues. In the same vein, the central business district of Mumbai, Nariman Point and the historical facades around it, get a new birth every time the artificial light is switched on, and the aerial shot of this landscape in no way evokes a lesser passionate emotion than it does for Manhattan, and for this similarity artificial light needs to be complemented. It is the case with the central business district of Delhi, the Connaught Place, MG Road in Bangalore etc.Your browser may not support display of this image.
One often wonders were it not for the ability of the artificial light to illuminate the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in Mumbai, would it have got a UNESCO Heritage stature. The soft lights accentuate the architectural marvel of this landmark further during the nighttime, which even its designers would not have fathomed, as at the drawing board its contours would have designed in such a manner to highlight the features in light of the natural light.
Civic planners are now warming up to the advantage of using the artificial light in illuminating the heritage structures studding the landscape of a city, and are thinking of innovative ways to earn revenue for the civic corporations by riding on the bandwagon of artificial light. The unknown faces, which created these historical monuments, must be thankful for the artificial light to give a new life to their creations.
Ability to experiment with artificial light helps create a situation of constant flux that is ever evolving, injects a sense of dynamism on the facade on display and ensures the repeat audience either through oral publicity or through the sheer experience of getting soaked in the ambience and transformed to a situation of being a part of the process.
India as a country being endowed predominantly with warm climate during most parts of the year in most parts of the country, presents an opportunity to extend the nightlife of the city, the binding glue being usage of artificial light.
Artificial light is synonymous with blazing ambition and is the reason why people flock to cities to give a chance to their ambitions to fructify. The sooner it extends to different nooks and corners, the better, as it would be able to stem migration to a certain extent.
By: Suman Rai