Do you remember spending the holiday’s at grandma’s house, sitting in front of the big black & white TV while you dug into your favourite food and was completely oblivious to the overhead noise being made by grandma’s antique ceiling fan?
Ceiling fans from back in the day were quite something, some had an old charm and looked quite antique while others look big, ugly and cumbersome! However they all had one thing in common – the confusing pull chains for the fan and the light, which I am quite certain, I was not the only one who always pulled the wrong chain! Nothing annoyed me more as I could never get it right.
But pulling the wrong chain was the least of troubles for the people way before grandma and grandpa’s time. Did you know that way before grandma and grandpa got their modern ceiling fan, that the ceiling fan was actually manually operated? Yes, you read right, this manually operated ceiling fan was called a Punkah and only the very rich or elite could afford the Punkah in the early days.
There was a person that was employed who would spend his days pulling on the strings of the Punkah and he was known as the Punkahwallah. The Punkahwallah would pull the strings causing the Punkah to move back and forth thus creating a wind chill very similar to that created by a ceiling fan. However the speed or amount of wind you got from the Punkah was dependent on how much energy the Punkahwallah had that day.
Aren’t we glad that times have changed? We no longer need to contend with a Punkah, Punkahwallah or a noisy, ugly ceiling fan. We have so many stunning ceiling fans to choose from these days, we could say we are spoiled for choice. Now we can chose from ceiling fans with wooden or aluminium blades, with or without light kits, remote controlled fans, different shaped blades to fit in with our style and décor, the choice is really unlimited.