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Things that stand the test of time are indicators of the passage of time. A sudden and unexpected find in the shape of a school notebook can bring a whole era back, if only for an instant. But that little instant is, in fact, the very sign of life, and memory. What would happen if instants like these cease to come around? How long could a person survive without a sense of memory, or without a sense of belonging? Ask the people who are in pursuit of homes they have left, or been made to leave or are trying to find them while still living in them.

A certain instance of irony finds the name of a building meaning ‘treasury’ first among the list of ones to be demolished for ‘urban regeneration’. One wonders at the logic of the decision makers, for proposing to  demolish a building which has stood firm for almost two centuries, is conveniently tugged away from the urban chaos (yet remaining within physical relevance), has an irreplaceable and ‘irreplicable’ architectural and artistic worth, is well-capable of sustaining life in it with all vigor and color;  and turn a blind eye towards those which have been built perhaps a year or two back and have none of these qualities whatsoever. Who are these decision makers answerable to? And who are we, as citizens, answerable to, having witnessed such a clumsy decision being taken and, in all certainty, being executed?

Everyone is answerable to the environment we live in. Because everyone is a part of it, is contributing to it, and is dependent on it for survival. A resource, in whatever form, should never be allowed to go waste. Simply because it’s outright unethical! The Khazana Complex at Khilwat is such a resource which is being laid to waste due to neglect. And as a result, has become a top priority consideration for replacement by an automated multi-level parking complex. Most things that could have been done to prove that the place deserved a much more sensitive treatment has been done and to no definite gain. An alternate design proposal for the adaptive re-use of the campus through a students’ initiative, and a comprehensive Parking Management Plan for the entire Precinct by a private consultant initiative; have both failed to appeal to the sensibilities of the decision makers.

What is at stake here is not just an old building. If this decision is taken through, it will be the death of common sense. It will be an example of Man’s inability to fit into an environment; to sustain it and to grow with it. Rationality will be replaced by popular favor. And it’s needless to say then, that progress will become unattainable.

As a final attempt this brief is being written with expectations of generating some response from the stake holders involved and also from the people in general. The city is dotted with instances such as these, and unless a beginning is made to bring them back to relevance, these shall remain no more to give to posterity what they have given us. 
An identity.

Written for the media.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2009 10:00 am (UTC)
death of common sense
indeed its the death of common sense and this would soon be celebrated with the inauguration of the MLCP.

i don't know if man hasn't realized that he has to fit in an environment (we can see amazing solutions to such issues all over the sensible world) but an Indian certainly hast realized the need to respond to these instances. we have failed to identify resources and we end up making them a liability.

while the world celebrates a new global order lets take this chance to emerge out of our insensibilities.
Nov. 16th, 2009 09:58 am (UTC)
Hey Bari,

A google search I ran threw up your blog in the results, 'sudden and unexpected' to quote what you've written. This is a great piece of writing and I enjoyed reading it , it's a thoughtful read.
-Farah Alam
Nov. 17th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
Sudden and unexpected likewise!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )