Our ancestral homes were built to look something like the above with a narrow entrance to the house with door heights that made you bend a little to get in. The doors were made of solid Burma Teak wood that were heavy and had metallic studs depicting various gods who not only welcomed the guests but also made him humble, naturally before entering the house as he bent forward a little to get inside!
The house also had a seating place right before the entrance where people could sit comfortably and spend some time talking or resting. The idea behind this "Thinnai" as known in Tamil is to provide shelter to passersby in those days who travelled by foot to various places as there were no faster means of transport except bullock carts! The person after walking for sometime used to rest in one of such houses that had this facility, take rest and proceed in his journey. The people living in that house would usually engage in a conversation with the traveller and get to know from where he belongs to and the destination he is headed to besides his other voluntary family details. In the process, the humane nature would offer some water to overcome thirst, some butter milk or sometimes even food for the traveller! Thus, was the South Indian culture that prevailed since centuries and can be seen even today in some of the deep rooted villages in TamilNadu and Kerala.
The house was built to care for the inmates and the travellers who walked on bare foot braving the hot sunny weather for their work.
Now, the architect designed homes in the city and elsewhere have no such open space in front of the house. Such spaces have been eaten up to provide a bigger bed room or a kitchen that can be termed as selfish in the modern era! There is no scope for anyone to sit and relax anywhere on the street as most of the houses have secured boundaries, not to speak of offering water to the thirsty!
I wish the historic era of yesteryear come back and help us make one lovely "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" meaning the world is one family- a Sanskrit phrase.