Sunday, November 21, 2010

Acoustic Design of a Recording Studio

Building Sciences and Services project with Ammani Nair.

Again, thanks to Gaurav, Nikhil and Akshay! Sorry for all the bother.

An Architect

Part of a Theory of Design project. Profile and critique of the work and design philosophies of architects Robert Venturi and C.P. Kukreja.

This one's not really done- the portfolio list isn't even close to completion and the case study's not the best either. But since the 'design party' is on Thursday...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities: Bhopal

Like Amma said, our attempt to make it big.

Short film about our experiences in Bhopal during our class trip. NOT the final cut, there's still some work left (minor editing, improving the sound quality, correcting the title, etc). But we decided to put it up because we have no idea when all of that that will get done.

A Tale of Two Cities: Bhopal

And YES, we've called ourselves the Archifellas. Obviously, a play on A Capella. We're really proud of the soundtrack :) Wrote the lyrics, made the music (no instruments!), though the style is obviously inspired by the Madhya Pradesh tourism ads.

The Archifellas are:
Ishan Khan
Maulik Yagnik
and me :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Holiday homework for Theory of Settlements. Group project with N. Navneethakrishnan.

My dad's family also moved to Sikkim during the trade boom. They've been there since the early 1930s, maybe before

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Near Hauz Khas

Planned to explore the Hauz Khas monuments today. But a last minute movie plan (Dabang, fun, but only if you don't think) meant that my brother and I only had time to explore the Deer Park and Green Park monuments.

Deer Park is on the way to Hauz Khas village, on the right of the road leading in from Aurobindo Place market. The Green Park monuments I'm talking of are at the beginning of this road, right next to the market.

Deer Park is actually a jungle, interspersed with seemingly random jogging tracks and infinitely more random exercise bars and balancing beams and other 'fitness' equipment. And it's full of insects. A word of advice: either wear full length clothes, or apply insect repellent. Otherwise you'll end up like I did, with a couple of dozen bites all over my arms and legs.

There are three tombs in the forest, and even though I had Lucy Peck's brilliant 'Delhi: A Thousand Years of Building' to guide me, we wasted precious time trying to find them.

1. Bagh-i-Alam ka Gaumbad, late 15th to early 16th c., supposedly one of the finest Lodi tombs in Delhi. And it was pretty impressive, though unfortunately the interior was inaccessible, and there seemed to be nobody around who would open the gates for us. Peeking in through the bars revealed the beautiful inside of the dome- it's got some awesome plaster work. The tomb also had a 'wall mosque' adjoining it - just a wall on the west side with a mihrab. The sign says that its roof had probably fallen in.

2. Tuhfewala Gumbad, 14th c. Pretty plain. Some guys were playing tash inside and blasting Akon and Justin Bieber. Baby baby baby oooooh.

3. Kali Gumti, 14th c. Small. And black.

I was disappointed that there were no signages leading to the tombs or even ASI information boards (barring ones for the small wall mosque near Bagh-i-Alam and the Kali Gumti). These monuments were obviously poorly maintained, and slightly vandalized, but honestly, they still had charm, shrouded as they were in greenery.


We took one of those Vodafone e-ricks back to Aurobindo Place. There are actually 6 monuments in this area, but one of them (Biran ka Gumbad, late 15th c.) is some distance inside Green Park, and since we were really running late we had to miss out on it. These are different from the Deer Park tombs because they are very much maintained. Every one of them has an ornate sign outside and a detailed information board with drawings. They also have some pretty fancy lighting.

1. Choti Gumti, late 15th c. Very, very small. But exceedingly pretty. The cream plaster was beautiful.

2. Sakri Gumti, late 15th c. Literally 'narrow dome', easy to understand why. Most probably a gateway and not a tomb. An old man was sleeping inside, complete with jute mat and water bottle and slippers left outside.

3. Barah Khamba, 14th c. Dome supported by twelve pillars of varying sizes. I remember our History of Architecture teacher telling us that there are many Barah Khambas in Delhi, not just the one which gives Barakhamba Road its name.

4. Dadi ka Gumbad, late 15th c. Big, and very impressive.

5. Poti ka Gumbad, late 14th c. Right next to the Dadi ka Gumbad, and so seems even smaller. The Dadi-Poti Gumbads, though very close together, have nothing to do with each other and the names have no real history. I guess they just represent the sizes.


Had fun, but am sorta disappointed about not getting to see what I really went there for: the Hauz Khas complex. Dunno when I'll next get the time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nehru Memorial

Slept away the first few days of the holidays. But I was really bored today, so when I read that the Nehru Planetarium has organized a sky show on Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, I dragged my brother to the Teen Murti Bhavan to see it. The complex (huge, around 45 acres) houses the Nehru Planetarium, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, and the auditorium. It's called Teen Murti because of a group of three statues, a WWI memorial to soldiers from Mysore, Jodhpur and Hydrabad. The main building, a classic example of colonial architecture, is designed by Robert Tor Russel, who also designed CP. It was built in 1929-30 as the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British Indian Army, and after independence, in August 1948, it became the official residence of PM Jawaharlal Nehru. After his death in 1964 it was converted into his memorial.

We went to the Planetarium first. Outside there are a series of pretty awesome educational exhibits, some interactive, on astronomy and the universe, although some don't really work. But they really do explain seemingly difficult concepts easily. They were facing some problems with the Chandra movie, and so they screened 'The Ultimate Universe' instead. This was my first time in a planetarium, and it was brilliant! The movie, about the universe in general, was great and really informative, though slightly too long and boring. The visuals were amazing, and the whole experience was almost 3D.

Very surprisingly, right outside the planetarium, and part of the complex, is a protected monument! The Kushak Mahal was built by Feroze Shah Tughlaq as a hunting lodge. Quaint and surrounded by greens, it's really one of the lesser known monuments of Delhi -I can't even find an appropriate link!

The museum was boring, and most galleries were old and not really maintained. There was a new exhibit called 'Nehru, the Architect of Independent India', which was better, though honestly, still boring. The recorded speeches were interesting. One you had to listen to the normal way, on headphones, but for the other one (Nehru announcing Bapu's death), you lifted the receiver of one of those old-style telephones. Pretty charming. Since it's a personalia museum, parts of the Teen Murti House -the sitting room, study, and Nehru's and Indira's bedrooms- have been preserved. These were also great, and shit! the amount of books they had. The best bit about the museum, though, was undoubtedly the recreated Central Hall of the Parliament as on 14/15 August, 1947 midnight. There are figures of the speaker, and all these people, GB Pant, BR Ambedkar, C Rajagopalachari, etc., at least 12-13 of them, sitting on the benches, all listening to an animated figure of Nehru, complete with head and eye movements, delivering the 'Tryst with Destiny' speech. You could sit with all of them and listen. It was awesome.

We also went to the auditorium, where they had a play going on, which, sadly, we were too late for. The building is nice, one of those which bridge the inside and the outside. Our next stop, the nearby canteen, was pretty dark and dingy, but mostly because greenery covers all the windows! Really weird.

I enjoyed the day, and the planetarium was amazing, but, like I said, I was disappointed with the museum. And considering that it's a stop on the HoHo bus tour as well, I expected better.

P.S. The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library has a whole host of events lined up during the CWG. Unfortunately, I won't be in Delhi for most of them. Damn :/

Update, 06/11/11:
You can read more about the complex in The Modern Architecture of New Delhi: 1928-2007, a brilliant little book. Discovered that the architect of the Teen Murti Bhavan extensions is Padma Shri Mansinh M. Rana, erstwhile Chief Architect of the NDMC.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Science is beyond awesome. It's the brilliantest, most awe-inspiring thing ever. I always knew this, of course, but lately I've been reading a lot of science-ish books, and watching a lot of Discovery Science, and I'm completely overwhelmed by all the amazing things that science enabled me to know. When I think of all the secrets that scientists have unravelled, and all those that they soon will, I, well, I can't even contemplate the scope, because I know so little of their discoveries. All I feel is this extreme sense of well being that I was born and live in this age, where people want to know how, and why- this age where we are encouraged to question everything. And, when someone finds one of the answers (which, in most cases, leads to even more questions), they are able to, and encouraged to, share them with the whole world. And then come all the discussions, and debates, and further experiments. Science never stops, and I love that. People never stop questioning.

And science is so frickin' vast. I read What on Earth Happened, and that was about everything. In Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Richard Feynman gets upto all sorts of antics, and in terms of science, he definitely doesn't limit himself to just theoretical physics. He's experimented with biology, and chemistry, and 'magic' tricks, and ant behaviour, and electronics, and so much more. Even Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics cover such a large range of topics, and I know they're about economics, but economics is also a science. Right now I'm reading Genome, and I'm flabbergasted by what all comes just under genetics, and how interrelated all science is. Behaviour and psychology and physiology and genetics are all different facets of the same body, and they work together to make us who we are. Next on my list are The Code Book, George's Secret Key to the Universe and A Brief History of Time, and anything else I can get my hands on. Science is seriously fascinating and knowing is seriously addictive. I can't seem so stop.

Edit, 13.10.2010:
From Genome, pg. 271
The fuel on which science runs is ignorance. Science is like a hungry furnace that must be fed logs from the forests of ignorance that surround us. In the process, the clearing we call knowledge expands, but the more it expands, the longer its perimeter and the more ignorance comes into view.

So, so true.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Got a Jury Commendation for our (group project with Varun Bajaj) entry to the IGBC Green Design Competition 2010!

It's a national level competition, open to all architecture students. This year you had to redesign or retrofit your department of architecture building. If you're really interested, you can get the brief here.

Other winners from our college include Anuj and Kabilan who won first (w00t!), and Ammani and Amri, and Aditya Wallabh (who partnered with his sister at MANIT, Bhopal), who also got a commendation.

If you can't see the above, you can also see our entry here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Noun; em-blum
1. Special design or visual object representing a quality, type, group, etc.
2. A visible symbol representing an abstract idea


Travellers return from the city of Zirma with distinct memories: a blind black man shouting in the crowd, a lunatic teetering on a skyscraper's cornice, a girl walking with a puma on a leash. Actually many of the blind men who tap their canes on Zirma's cobblestones are black; in every skyscraper there is someone going mad; all lunatics spend hours on cornices; there is no puma that some girl does not raise, as a whim. The city is redundant: it repeats itself so that something will stick in the mind.

I too am returning from Zirma: my memory includes dirigibles flying in all directions, at window level; streets of shops where tattoos are drawn on sailors' skin; underground trains crammed with obese women suffering from the humidity. My travelling companions, on the other hand, swear they saw only one dirigible hovering among the city's spires, only one tattoo artist arranging needles and inks and pierced patterns on his bench, only one fat woman fanning herself on a train's platform. Memory is redundant: it repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist.


From there, after six days and seven nights, you arrive at Zobeide, the white city, well exposed to the moon, with streets wound about themselves as in a skein. They tell this tale of its foundation: men of various nations had an identical dream. They saw a woman running at night through an unknown city; she was seen from behind, with long hair, and she was naked. They dreamed of pursuing her. As they twisted and turned, each of them lost her. After the dream they set out in search of that city; they never found it. but they found one another; they decided to build a city like the one in the dream. In laying out the streets, each followed the course of his pursuit; at the spot where they had lost the fugitive's trail, they arranged spaces and walls differently from the dream, so she would be unable to escape again.

This was the city of Zobeide, where they settled, waiting for that scene to be repeated one night. None of them, asleep or awake, ever saw the woman again. The city's streets were streets where they went to work every day, with no link any more to the dreamed chase. Which, for that matter, had long been forgotten. New men arrived from other lands, having had a dream like theirs, and in the city of Zobeide, they recognized something of the streets of the dream, and they changed the positions of arcades and stairways to resemble more closely the path of the pursued woman and so, at the spot where she had vanished, there would remain, no avenue of escape.

The first to arrive could not understand what drew these people to Zobeide, this ugly city, this trap.


After a seven days' march through woodland, the traveller directed towards Baucis cannot see the city and yet he has arrived. The slender stilts that rise from the ground at a great distance from one another and are lost above the clouds support the city. You climb them with ladders. On the ground the inhabitants rarely show themselves: having already everything they need up there, they prefer not to come down. Nothing of the city touches the earth except those long flamingo legs on which it rests and, when the days are sunny, a pierced, angular shadow that falls on the foliage.

There are three hypotheses about the inhabitants of Baucis: that they hate the earth; that they respect it so much they avoid all contact; that they love it as it was before they existed and with spyglasses and telescopes aimed downwards they never tire of examining it, leaf by leaf, stone by stone, ant by ant, contemplating with fascination their own absence.


There are two ways of describing the city of Dorothea: you can say that four aluminium towers rise from its walls flanking seven gates with spring-operated drawbridges that span the moat whose water feeds four green canals which cross the city, dividing it into nine quarters, each with three hundred houses and seven hundred chimneys. And bearing in mind that the nubile girls of each quarter marry youths of other quarters and their parents exchange the goods that each family holds in monopoly--bergamot, sturgeon roe, astrolabes, amethysts--you can then work from these facts until you learn everything you wish about the city in the past, present, and future. Or else you can say, like the camel-driver who took me there: 'I arrived here in my first youth, one morning, many people were hurrying along the streets towards the market, the women had fine teeth and looked you straight in the eye, three soldiers on a platform played the trumpet, and all around wheels turned and coloured banners fluttered in the wind. Before then I had known only the desert and the caravan routes. In the years that followed, my eyes returned to contemplate the desert expanses and the caravan routes; but now I know this path is only one of the many that opened before me on that morning in Dorothea.'


When he enters the territory of which Eutropia is the capital, the traveller sees
not one city but many, of equal size and not unlike one another, scattered over a
vast, rolling plateau. Eutropia is not one, but all these cities together; only
one is inhabited at a time, the others are empty; and this process is carried out
in rotation. Now I shall tell you how. On the day when Eutropia's inhabitants feel
the grip of weariness and no one can bear any longer his job, his relatives, his
house and his life, debts, the people he must greet or who greet him, then the
whole citizenry decides to move to the next city, which is there waiting for them,
empty and good as new; there each will take up a new job, a different wife, will
see another landscape on opening his window, and will spend his time with
different pastimes, friends, gossip. So their life is renewed from move to move,
among cities whose exposure or declivity or streams or winds make each site
somehow different from the others. Since their society is ordered without great
distinctions of wealth or authority, the passage from one function to another
takes place almost without jolts; variety is guaranteed by the multiple
assignments, so that in the span of a lifetime a man rarely returns to a job that
has already been his.

Thus the city repeats its life, identical, shifting up and down on its empty
chessboard. The inhabitants repeat the same scenes, with the actors changed; they
repeat the same speeches with variously combined accents; they open alternate
mouths in identical yawns. Alone, among all the cities of the empire, Eutropia
remains always the same. Mercury, god of the fickle, to whom the city is sacred,
worked this ambiguous miracle.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Invisible Cities (Italo Calvino, 1972) is not a book about cities. It's a book about people: Marco Polo and Kublai Khan,

and the residents of the imagined cities, the kings and the prostitutes and the adolescent and the anile, the strangers who meet everyday, the traders moving to and fro between the cities. But most of all, it's about the traveller- it's about his (or her, if you want to be politically correct) perceptions and dreams and desires and emotions, his past (which influences his present and future), his inferences, his expectations and his understanding of the city.

Calvino recognized the feel of the city- not the physical, but the emotional aspect of it. In fact, he is entirely brilliant at recognizing and naming and writing down emotions- this book really makes you feel. And so, when you remember the cities, you remember the metaphysical- the blend of fantasy and reality described. Sure, they might be supplemented by some physical aspects- like a clock tower here or a dome there, but these are also just ultimately symbols of the people who lived there and what the traveller was feeling at that point of time, visible symbols of an abstract idea. It's all about perception, and that is different even for fellow travellers.

The author imagined so many different cities, each with its own character and people and emotions, and Marco Polo appreciated them all differently. He talked of the beauty of the whole and of the beauty of the part. Often he looked at the cities from two different viewpoints, both his own; like the two sides of a coin. Other times one side was just a lie, a facade, and the real city was on the opposite face. Sometimes his descriptions were easy to understand, and sometimes you had to reread them to grasp the full meaning, the subtext. You then had to fill in the blanks, think about what you inferred from the thoughts and images and visuals.

Nothing can exist in isolation- or, at least, it can have no purpose in isolation. Here too, the cities are connected, yes, but we are always looking at the micro level of the city, and so are, I think, fooled into thinking of it as independent entity on its own. And so when Calvino does zoom out, it seems a revelation. He does this often, in fact; during the course of the book you suddenly realize a lot of things you always knew in the back of your head, but which you had forgotten while reading about these individual cities. But, also, when you look only at the macro scale, and forget these singular parts, you again lose sight of the plot.

Because there are so many short descriptions of so many cities, by the end of it they start running together and thus lose their differences. From the reader you become the jaded traveller, and Marco Polo and Kublai Khan’s analysis of the rise and fall of cities, why they are what they are, how they’re different from, and yet the same as, one another, really becomes the focal point. I don’t know whether this was intentional or not, and of course, in a way they were always the focal point, but what I’m saying is that whatever role the cities played before is lost by the end, at least for me.

The short chapters, if you can call them that, are very disjoint, but remain connected, I think, because of the writing style. It’s very, very descriptive, long sentences, generally simple language, but lots of new words -I learnt quite a few: ephebe, lavabo, auguries, sirocco, odalisques. Like most good books, the writing stays with you a while; even now, while I'm writing this, I know that my sentence structure and wording are somewhat inspired from the book.

I enjoyed this book, and though I probably won't ever reread it, right now I feel as if it'll stay with me for a long time. In a way, it's answered a question I've often thought about: can a traveller, an outsider and a foreigner, ever truly understand another city? When he visits this other city, how does he perceive it? What is different, if not different from his own?


Remembered this quote from Travel and Living, and along the way, found two more, which I think describe perfectly what this book is about:

“Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller


the opportunist and the privileged

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Slightly abrupt ending, but it made me laugh.

Again, by Amit Varma, published at India Uncut.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


When I was about seven, my cousins came over for a short trip and we went on a day excursion to the Doll Museum and the Railway Museum. (The cherry on top, though, was the Hero No. 1 show we went for later that day. Govinda was wildly funny those days.)

I chose to write about the Railway Museum because I actually remember it, even though it was over thirteen years ago, and I have a pretty bad retention span when it comes to stuff that happened to me. At first there were only vague images, and feelings rolling about in my head, but modern technology (aka google) helped jog my memory. And I’m really glad of the chance to revisit it, because it was such a good day. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it- I haven’t yet.

The Railway Museum, in Chanakyapuri, is ‘the focus of Rail Heritage of India’[1]. I remember it as being huge, and it is, spread over 11 acres. It’s also very green. Most of the engines and carriages on display are on tracks laid over landscaped gardens.

The museum’s home to the Fairy Queen, Guinness certified as the world's oldest operational steam locomotive. It has, honestly, a pretty awesome collection of locomotives. There’s just something so charming about all those gleaming old-style steam engines. We got to explore inside some of them too, I think, and I distinctly remember going inside at least one coach, with its plush seats and wood finish.

The main attraction for us, though, was, of course, the toy train. It runs on a miniature track through the museum. You cannot imagine the joy that we seven-and-eight-year-olds felt when on it. Like I said, the feelings still stay with me- fighting for the window seat, the wind blowing through my hair, the excitement of it all.

Later we went for ice cream to the cafeteria, which I remembered as being in the middle of a lake. Google Images confirmed its location on the side of a much smaller man-made pond. But it looked exactly the same: a circular structure, open on all sides, with the restaurant on the first floor. When I think about it now, it seems like a really nice design. It has an amazing view, of the lawns and the water, and the outdoor seating meant that us kids could ‘hang out’ separate from the grown-ups, leaning on the railing and talking of dolls and trains and ice creams and whatever else seven year olds talked about in 1997.

That day was enchanting. Frankly, when I decided to write on this topic, I wondered for a second if I had such fond memories of the Rail Museum because I had fond memories of the whole day- whether it was the place or the company. But then I realised that I remember nearly nothing of the Doll Museum, and so much of the Rail Museum. (And, well, ALL of Hero No. 1. But who can forget that?) The place is fascinating, and so utterly charming. I enjoyed it- it’s right up there with Appu Ghar and that video game arcade that opened in Saket for a (too) short period of time.

Awesome Awesomeness!


That's the website of Paul Neace, a British interaction designer. It's oh-my-god brilliant. And the GAMES! Shit. Space Invaders and Frogger and Pac-man and Tetris and Snake and all-that-you-remember-as-holy-and-sacred.

Is it me or are they more addictive this time round?

P.S. Thanks to Rikki for telling me about this!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Requiem for a Me


Bhavika Aggarwal


Surrounded by family and friends, Bhavika Aggarwal passed away this Sunday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences after succumbing to a sudden attack of periodontitis.

An intermittent architect and enthusiastic conservation activist, Ms. Aggarwal was most known for her interior decoration work. Educated at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, she got the opportunity to work with greats such as Varun Bajaj and Aditi Gupta early in her career, though she concentrated most of her efforts towards small scale projects. Her notable works include the interiors of the Snobsman Hotel, New Delhi (in collaboration with furniture designer Uzair Siddiqui) and the Yara chain of retail stores across India, as well the design of her personal residence in Vasant Vihar. Ms. Aggarwal was also noted for her attempts, with social activist Ammani Nair, to mainstream the cause of recreational reading, and she helped design and set up a number of public libraries. Her experiments with environmentalist Amri Chadha regarding sustainability and blue architecture occupied most of her latter career.

Ms. Aggarwal retired from professional life in 2057. She would have been 76 this May.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What's the big deal about blogging?

Amit Varma answers the question in his most recent post. He publishes India Uncut, one of the most popular Indian blogs, and is also the author of My Friend, Sancho, a humourous look at the reporter-solving-a-crime-and-falling-in-love-at-the-same-time genre. An easy-read which I would definitely recommend, but then I like most stuff. Ammani found it quite average.

Theory of Settlements: Book Review

Angry River

by Ruskin Bond, 1972
Illustrations by Trevor Stubley
Published by Rupa & Co.

It was a small island, set in the middle of the big river, yet large enough for Sita and her grandparents to live there, together with their three goats, their hens, their vegetable patch, and the peepul tree.
Then one day, as the monsoon clouds were gathering, Grandmother was ill and had to be taken by boat to the nearest hospital. Sita was left alone, and the river swirled angrily around the little island. It rose higher and higher as the rains came down, and Sita climbed into the peepul tree. But the old tree groaned and shook in the wind and the rain, it left its place in the earth where it had been standing for years, and moved to join the river, carrying Sita with it.

I enjoy reading. I've gone through quite a large number of books, and while I like to think that I remember them all, there are some that I have never forgotten. Angry River is one such. I found it, one day, in the bookshelf out in the drawing room. I was very young, but Angry River, like most of Ruskin Bond's work, is meant for children. It has a big font and is beautifully illustrated.

I always liked Ruskin Bond, though I haven't read much of him. I've read some Rusty, and I remember The Woman on Platform 8 from school. But his work is different; it has an almost haunting quality to it –not in the supernatural way, even though both Angry River and, especially, The Woman on Platform 8, seem to have some of that. It is just somehow more evocative than other young fiction. It always seemed as if there was a hidden meaning, a subtext in there somewhere, though I never quite understood this until I reread Angry River for this assignment.

I won’t go into the story, although I highly recommend that you read it. A warning though, there are some spoilers coming your way. Along the course of the book, Sita finds herself on a boat with the boy who rescued her, Krishan. Since they don’t want to spend the night on the river, they make way for the flooded forest on the banks.

It’s beautifully described, the magical quality of the moonlit water as it winds through the tall, tall evergreens, with their submerged trunks and overhanging branches. I can almost see the patterns the moonlight makes on the now calm water through the closely packed trees, and feel the damp and smell the wet earth. The flooding has forced the animals out and snakes, stags, elephants are all looking for shelter and dry ground. But Sita and Krishan are safe because the animals are too busy to bother with them. Even Sita’s exhaustion and fatigue and the sense of safety she now feels are perfectly depicted- as she falls asleep in the gently rocking boat you truly somehow identify with her. With morning the wet of the night is replaced by the warmth of the sun, and Sita and Krishan find their way to a nearby village while light falls through the still dripping branches.

The entire book is wonderfully written, but this episode stays in my mind as something beyond ordinary. The simple words and uncluttered language of the narrative add to the appeal. With this I suddenly remembered that you don’t need fancy words or embellished phrases to make an impression; it is the content that truly matters.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


The cry of a newborn. From Latin vagire, to wail.


Most of you reading this already know me. Those who don't, well, hopefully they will, soon.

The purpose of this blog, to cut a long story short, is to pass. I'm a third year student of architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. Our Theory of Settlements teacher will only grade our assignments if they are up on our blogs. So there you go. The cyberspace now has about 70 odd more bloggers, including me, and most probably, you.

Third year is scary. Barely a week's gone by, and the work's piling up. But that's not really it, we're all used to work; it's the content. Third year really needs you to put yourself out there: share your thoughts and beliefs and reasons. And I don't just mean this blog, other subjects -Architectural Design and Theory of Design, for example- require the same.

Frankly, it's scary.

Sharing yourself with friends is easy. Sharing yourself with your faculty, with people you now "know" for two years but don't really know at all, with random people who will stumble upon this blog? Not so much.

When you're talking, you can use expressions, and gestures, and when you're talking to someone who knows you, sometimes you don't need words at all. This, it requires us to put our psyche into words and sentences and paragraphs. Like I said, scary. Intimidating as shit.

But, now that I've started, I hope to really get going. I'll try to be as regular as possible, and not be as boring as possible. However, those of you know me also know that I'm great at this thing called velleity (new word, came across it while trying to find a title for this blog).

Like I said, I hope to change.