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The Kiasmatic Solution

 

One more idea, one more concept….one more word ...and one more solution. There is always room for one more! Not for the first time has one word been given such treatment. Been made to look more profound than before. After all, what are words without people’s perceptions of them. What would they mean if nobody attributed any meaning to them?
Not for the first time has a word been so glorified by attributing many meanings to it. Until all that is left is the word – plain and hollow – in the memory of those who wrote about it or read about it. This….is not that time.
Kiasma implies intersection. X . And that’s about all the defining it needs. Because what is important here is not the word, but what led to it….and what it led us to.
Lets take a break from Stephen Holl and apply Kiasma. What could intersect with architecture. Nothing? Everything? Would ‘architecture’ be perfect if it were a separate entity, alienated from all its influences? Is architecture about perfection at all??
They are questions like these which always accumulate at the back of every designer’s mind. And in their quest to seek answers they sometimes come across places like Curitiba and names such as Jaime Lerner.



The place, at the verge of chaos due to urban assault and the name, a nobody in an architectural school. What followed is history…to be read and learnt and replicated. The end-product was a Curitiba which is now one of the greatest cities of the contemporary world, has the best mass transit system in the world, has 150 sqft. of green area per inhabitant (4 times the standard by WHO) and, as you might have guessed by now, has the healthiest living environs in an urban setup. Hard to imagine this state for a town which had its population tripled in a space of 20 years! (1940-1960).
Again, what is important here is not the end product, but the process that led to it …and where that will lead us. The successful transformation of Curitiba was not due to sensitive or good or creative ‘design’ – though all of these might have played their part. The success was due to the people who understood their role in the transformation. It was due to the ‘planners’ who showed them what and how. It was….due to the architects who were designing for those who needed it – the PEOPLE. It was due to a man who got into a position where he could make a difference. And it was due to that same man, who understood ‘his’ role in running the machinery of the world efficiently.
A designer can never see his design in isolation. He would do well, if he sees it as a part of a continuum – an action which will have a reaction -…. to which he owes a responsibility of understanding and continuing in sync.

“Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.”

Kiasma has taken us beyond that quotation. It has led us to believe that the ‘will’ can be directed. And the directors are the ones who are reading this now.
Architecture can never be about perfection. It is always about balance. Between built and unbuilt, between green and grey, between past and present, between now and future, rich and poor, high and low, dense and sparse, blue and brown….between need and provision. Those, very simply put, are the two lines that make Kiasma. And where they intersect lies your architecture…in perfect balance.

compulsory reading : http://www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/views05/1108-33.htm

Written For : NASA Zonal Magazine 2006.

The Chronciles of Ridicule...Too!!

                                                                       PART TWO : PRIDE ROCK


The first soul and sole creation by God were the Structural Engineers, alias the Blessed Souls. Blessed were they, indeed, for they were taught how to build directly by God. There was no intervention, since there was no Satan as yet!
God taught the Blessed souls what to build, where to build and furthermore blessed this Pre-Historic Generation (as they are now referred to) with the special powers of “Sense Common”.
The lessons taught and learnt were timeless, for God knew, He would never again get this chance of imparting ‘elementary’ education to his creations. However, the time came when God felt that He had taught the Blessed Souls all that he could and should. Hence, he decreed all those souls be put in Heaven and made to do in practice what they had been taught all those light years.

The Great Deluge

All was going well, and heaven was being made to live up to its expectations (well…all the scriptures were written prior to the making of Heaven. What else would have the Blessed Souls based their designs on??) when catastrophe struck the peace and calm of Heaven. A certain Blessed Soul (Satan, as later his name came to be), encountered a problem at the site of a design execution. The plot of a Palace, allegedly, required the pulling down of a tree. That meant trouble…but only if Satan had known better, what his actions of today will do to the future of the Universe…he would have left that tree standing – for that was The Forbidden Tree! But he didn’t know ….so he didn’t let it stand.
The Heavens trembled and Hell released a gush of wicked air as God fumed. Satan was arrested and put in the first level of Hell while a probe into the mishap was ordered. The DownFall of the Blessed Soul had begun.

The Trial - Age One

All the Blessed Souls connected with the controversy were summoned to the Divine Court of Justice and the trial began. The first day saw allegations being made and proved against the Blessed Souls who uprooted the Forbidden Tree, causing imbalance in the Heavenly Landscape. In their desperate defense, they passed on the blame to the one who ordered them to do such a sinful act – the Satan. Hence, at the end of the days’ proceedings the ‘uprooters’ were sentenced to temporary confinement in the first level of Hell until further notice, while Satan was promoted to the Second Level.

The Trial – Age Two

The second day saw allegations being made and proved against the Blessed Souls who drew up those plans forwarded to Satan for execution. The accusation was that the ‘drawfs’ were ignorant of the presence of the Forbidden Tree at the site, owing to improper site analysis. The defense, as can be pro-dicted was – Satan should have sent back the drawings for cross-reference with the Master Plan when the problem surfaced. Satan had not used the power of “Sense Common” bestowed on him and hence was liable to be held a criminal in the Divine Court of Justice.
Ofcourse, there was no defense from Satan himself…as he was rotting in Hell.. and any attempts by his representatives to defend were successfully silenced by the mass of Blessed Souls. The result – the drawfs were sentenced to temporary confinement in the second level of Hell until further notice, while Satan was, yet again, promoted to the third level.

All through these events Satan was fuming in Hell about not being given a fair trial. But as one would guess, Hell’s fumes were more intense than his, so Satan had resigned to his fate and awaited the final verdict. But this guess underestimated God…for God Sees all, Knows all and Hears all!

D’Day – The Awakening

The third day had a surprise turn of events for the soul on-lookers. Satan was beckoned to the witness box and offered a chance to narrate his side of the story. Now, this account of never-found-before pre-human history, needs to be read correctly and broadly and without any bias ..so as to get a clear understanding of Satan’s actions and the circumstances in which he did what he did.
Being given this unexpected, but certainly welcome, chance to defend himself….Satan got a taste of freedom once again and a hope to return to the good old Heaven. So, in his honest hope and blind fear (of Hell ofcourse) he plotted! And plotted against his own race! For they hurt his Pride! For they turned against one of their own. For they……questioned his professionalism! And how dare they!?!
Very artistically, he carved out the story of how the Designers of the Palace, were so ungrateful of the blessings bestowed on them by God, that they overlooked the presence of The Forbidden Tree on their site. That they were so proud of their own creation, they overlooked Gods’! Not only overlooked but ‘planned’ to create over it. Literally! God’s fury rose to a new level. And that was just the encouragement Satan needed. He went on ahead, skillfully carving out the story of how the drawfs blindly followed the designs of the Designers and ignored Gods’ Master Plan! And about how the uprooters were so eager to carry out the uprootment of such an auspicious Tree, just to prove that they had the power to change God’s designs. Just to Feel Like God!

At this point a furore arose in the Court and allegations ran wild and out-of-context. Satan had managed to ignite the fire within each Blessed Soul for he now had the knowledge of what fed fuel to that fire – Pride. Nobody questions a Blessed Soul…nobody directs them….nobody commands them….nobody accuses them!! But yet, Satan did…and being one of them too!! There couldn’t possibly be an end to that Furore (which eventually became the concept behind Satan’s famous design of “Hell on Earth”).

God’s own Creation

God sat there seeing his finest creation in their ugliest form. He knew it all and He knew it all too well. Time had now come for Him to do what he had been dreading since the creation. Once the Pride of the Blessed Soul had awakened, nothing could stop it until it had consumed all. And God was rather possessive about his own design – the Heaven.

So He threw all the Blessed Souls on Earth.

With the promise of Heaven if they carried out their practice of what they had been taught by God on earth and kept it from deteriorating (if not making it a heaven) by passing on their knowledge through generations to come,…and Hell if they failed.

The DownFall

Perplexed, confused, sad, angry….the emotion of the Blessed Souls, now to be impersonated as Structural Engineers, couldn’t form into a word….and in a flash of a second they found themselves scattered on Earth. In their disappointment, surprise and utter regret, they quarreled. The Designers, Drawfs and Uprooters quarreled about who was to blame for the descent of man on earth…until the actual subject of quarrel was forgotten and then they quarreled about who was right, who was superior, and who was to be followed by whom.
In due course of time, as the human history gathered weight, perspectives and dust, according to Divine predictions, the descendents of the Designers of The Great Deluge were given the title of ‘Architects’ (i.e. after the recall of Satan for their transformation…already recorded in the previous chronicle), the descendents of the Drawfs of The Great Deluge were given the title of ‘Draftsmen’, while the Uprooters of The Great Deluge were given the title of ‘Laborers’. Eventually as world developed and the “Sense Common” faded to a mere memory, than power, the Draftsmen and the Laborers separated themselves out as the Fifth and Sixth Generations respectively…claiming that God had created their race for their specific purpose on earth. And they resigned to that purpose - Draft and Build. In other words they surrendered what powers of “Sense Common” they were left with, to the superior and advanced human model of ‘Architects’.
Their line of blood continues to this day…and to this day all the Generations of the world, ever created, are engaged in an eternal battle for supremacy. And in this pursuit they all lost the powers bestowed on them by God until all they have left now is their ‘Pride’. And that’s one thing a true Blessed Soul never loses.

The Curse of The Forbidden Tree

Having taken care of the punishment of the Blessed Soul, the Satan was left alone in the Divine Court of Justice. The verdict was still pending. Keeping the innocence of Satan’s action with the Forbidden Tree and his devilry in banishing the Blessed Souls on a scale…God weighed. He found the scales much heavier on the latter side and hence the verdict was given……’Satan would be the inheritor of The Curse of The Forbidden Tree’. And as the prophecy said....the cursed one would never find a permanent dominion and would forever live as a parasite. Satan chose earth (to get back on his contemporaries) and committed himself to preparing more replicas of himself who eventually assumed the title of “Project Managers” alias devils’ impersonation on earth. 

Written for sappenings groups as a sequel to The Critical Tilt. There is a lot more to it than mere sarcasm.

The Chronicles of Ridicule!!

                                                                     THE CRITICAL TILT - DECODED!

At the onset, the intention was pure sarcasm. A vent to the frustration built due to continuous exposure to unimaginative professionals in the field (mainly civil engineers). And, at that, in a field which is perhaps based on imagination! But to convert imagination into reality is what makes the field practical - the visible proof of world's progress. And that is my concern here.

The Chronicle has many layers. One is the obvious 'ridicule' to everyone involved in the field....including architects. But all other characters used are put as metaphors or..paradoxes. Honestly, writing in metaphors is easier than deciphering it! But
this was my first attempt at a 'script'and hence i would like to clear it....for myself atleast!

If considered making and executing a Perfect Design a problem...then this chronicle was an attempt at the answer.

Hence the design metaphor chosen is the perfect design in the world - The Human Body.

As is my belief, the driving force of a particular project should not be a person (leader) or any material object (money, trophy, etc,etc..). It should be the 'purpose'. And that Purpose is what brings the solution to all problems (within the project). That Purpose is the ultimate judge in all decisions. And that Purpose is God! Because there is nothing that preceeds or over powers God!

Keeping this in mind...when the chronicle is read...it will be evident that it is actually tracing out the path of an architect. From being a student - 'the human soul', trained by lecturers - 'satan', in college - 'Matrix', then eventually passing out as Architects - 'the cursed soul' and stepping into the practical field - 'Real World'. Until this point the only other 'known' professional in the field is the Civil Engineer. Hence the other two
important professionals are introduced as the Third and Fourth Generations i.e. the Mechanical and Electrical Engineers repectively. What follows is the struggle between engineers (as a whole) and architects to over power each other. In a such a case the 'tilt'
episode portrays the power of God (Purpose)over all the other players involved. And over each members' Pride. The unique Cursed Soul is ofcourse the leader of the work in consideration....perhaps the Principal Architect in a consultancy or any team leader.

The talk of all the engineering fields being unimaginative is actually the curse of all architects i have met and worked with here. But there are engineers who can make architects look unimaginative (that is mainly due to poor technical knowledge of architects) and
only those engineers are called Structural Engineers.

The process is still not complete, because its not executed yet. For which the Fifth and Sixth Generations i.e. The Draftsmen and The Labourers respectively ..have to play a vital role!

So the point of emphasis is teamwork. And the need for each member of the team (including the leader) to understand his/her job and to do it whole-heartedly. Only then can a perfect design be achieved. Only then can a purpose be justified. And only then have teams
managed to do what individuals could not.

After this the last para of the chronicle might make clearer sense. All the improbable things in the world are made impossible by "US". Indeed.

Ideally...according to the name "chronicles of ridicule" , the chronicle should either have made complete sense or no sense at all. I chose the former...and may have not justified it completely. But as i said, this was my first attempt at a script...and i hope to pursue and improve. 

Written in response to a query from my college faculty Ar. Kishore. I couldn't decode it completely. That's due.

The Chronicles of Ridicule!!

                                                                                    PART ONE – THE CRITICAL TILT


When God was enlightening the minds of his most beloved and over-rated creations with the Power of Imagination……Civil Engineers were busy calculating the amount of load their brains will have to bear on the addition of such a burden! Their genius led them to the conclusion that the human skull is too weak in structure and too small to fit in the whole of the grey matter needed. The weakness was attributed mainly to the ‘curvy’ and slender nature of the skull.
When the time for their enlightenment finally came, they interrupted the Divine Process and presented the report of their findings to God. The report comprised of 99 parts calculations and 1 part drawings (sections and elevation as needed). And in their innocence they gave the drawings in isolation i.e. with no reference to the rest of the body. Well, they were engineers after all and couldn’t violate the ISO regarding the scale of drawings and paper sizes. Keeping in mind that they were not yet ‘enlightened’, they just couldn’t ‘imagine’ that rules were meant to be broken. And that they were meant to be followed in spirit…not in letter!
Anyways, God was very impressed with the calculative skills of his Second Generation creation who would build his future world (God was still under the misconception) and was just about to alter the proportions of the priceless masterminds according to their wish when……the ‘Cursed Souls’ (Satan break all hell loose on them!) intervened!!
They were those who were banished from the Technical Enlightenment because they rebelled when God wanted them abandon The Matrix for the Real World. These perfectionists, who had mastered the art of showing God what He wanted to see, very admirably sketched out how the body of the second generation will look with a cuboid head!.....much to the absolute and disturbing bewilderment of the Engineer on-lookers.

FLASHBACK: At the very beginning of time, the human souls were shown a proposal of how their human form would take shape. It was a curveless figure, rising tall and looking the same from all four sides. The interior arrangement was a rigid Grid Iron Pattern of crossing arteries and veins, with a central Processing Plant to carry out all the ‘wordly services’ for sustenance of the body. At the first instance the human souls were absolutely happy with the ‘planning’ and were just starting to go back into the slumber of their Matrix world….when God commanded the Satan to start their de-training of ‘living’. Well, the struggle of Satan in exposing them to the Real World is beyond the scope of this account of lost human history…so…at the turn of the New Age the human souls did manage to de-train for life in the Real World…..but without distinction.

God was very pleased. As a reward he exiled Satan and very fittingly named the new and improved human souls as “the Cursed Souls”. Now without the evil shadow of the Satan guiding and restricting them …. The Cursed Souls started getting ideas for their future physical forms.

It started with the de-centralization of ‘services’ in the planning of the initial and approved proposal. At this point of the chronicle, it is imperative to introduce the Third and Fourth Generations of the total Six Generations created by God. These were the Mechanical Engineers and the Electrical Engineers. The new ‘design’ put forward by the Cursed Souls meant that both these Generations had to abandon their busy schedule of making copies of the old drawings to meet the increasing production demands of God … and go back to the drawings boards.
Unwillingly they did. And with strenuous co-ordination with the Cursed Souls a layout was prepared. Electrical Engineers were the happier of the two ‘sister-generations’ because they got more ‘space’ to put their veins and arteries…but were frustrated because there were too many curves and as many changes. While the Mechanical Engineers managed to develop an everlasting grudge against the Cursed Souls…because they were given too little space …in which they had to squeeze all their intestines. Besides they were hell bent on providing more ‘outlets’ for ease of maintenance …but the Cursed Souls (thankfully) turned a deaf ear to them.

All the elaborate co-ordination meetings spread over light years of work eventually led to the completion of the design…and the day came when the masterpiece would be shown to God.

God was quite speechless! And was proceeding to put the ‘APPROVED’ stampwithout hesitation …when something happened which even God didn’t anticipate!! And this changed the course of human history forever!
A Cursed Soul, the favorite devil of the Satan, came forward and asked the Lord of all Electrical Engineers…”Why don’t we tilt the heart a little bit?”!!! The Lord had had enough of cursed interventions and could take no more of it. He was about to put forth his most vigorous and authoritative argument when God silenced him and said “I Like That…Let That Be Done!!”…and as it always is with the Divine Ways…when God says Be…It is!
Infact God was so impressed that He decreed that all Generations be incorporated with the power that this unique Cursed Soul possessed…or rather had developed. And He called it the “power of Imagination”.
At this the Electrical Engineers gave consent with grit teeth and swallowed anger and secretly vowed to bring down the Pride of Architects – the future impersonation of the Cursed Souls on earth.
Phew!! That brings us to the beginning of this Chronicle!

BACK TO PRESENT : At the vision of the horrible truth i.e. the out-of-proportion form of the Civil Engineer, God was taken aback and nauseated. It was in this moment of instability that the decree passed out…..Civil Engineers would NOT be enlightened with the power of Imagination!!
And in the subsequent events the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers chose to not use the power, which they reasoned out was essentially an ‘architectural trait’ possessed by Architects….who, as we all have reason to believe, they despised.

All these hassles delayed the advent of Architects on Earth, which was in part already built by the Structural Engineers – the Pre-Historic Generation created by God, who by many are said to be the more flexible ancestors of Civil Engineers. The bloodline of them is all but spent as very few of them have survived to see this Age.
Note : Should there be found more time on this earth, an account of the Fifth Generation – The Draftsmen and the Sixth Generation – The Laborers, will be put in letter. 

__________________________________________________________________________

I guess one can never say that his/her training is complete. Because even a lifetime wont be enough to know all that there is to know on this earth! But this brief period of exposure (and of course…all that led to it) has reinforced my belief.
That there is nothing impossible in this world! That there is nothing a human being cant do! And the seemingly impossible things are not impossible ….they are just improbable…and that in turn is because ‘we’  make them so.
At this the training doesn’t end. It begins! 

Written while in Doha for Practical Training for sappenings groups. Behind the ridicule and sarcasm there is a reality in this article about the ways of the industry. There is an explanation i wrote, named The Critical Tilt Decoded. One of the personal best i have written.

The Da Vinci Code



It is a secret that has cost many their lives. For two thousand years it has passed from generation to generation….and well…what do you know…it’ out now! With loss of a lot of credibility….
This review is being written with a touch of mockery in it…since the author just happens to be one of the privileged human beings who got to see it in 70mm…. Dolby Digital Sound…. Air-conditioned Theatre …. Cushioned seats …. and nobody else around for acres, except a few heads scrambled here and there.
The venue was of no great pretension … but the movie was. Quite bold and hence, untruthful. The most controversial topic of the decade ( or century perhaps!)…and Ron Howard had to screw it up!
The best part of the movie was its casting. The most appropriate people for the most appropriate roles. With the right accents, looks, …and of course, language when needed, the movie showed a lot of promises and ‘facts’ in the beginning. But somewhere in between, I guess the screenplay writers got too fascinated with the idea…and just scaled the whole “bloodline” theory like a drawing in AutoCAD!
For a non-reader, the movie will appeal only because of the controversy. The moment he comes out of the theatre I doubt he will be able to trace back what actually happened. Nothing wrong with editing though…maybe two hours just weren’t enough for the story.
‘Too much of verbose and less graphics’. That best explains the problem with it. Long conversations which are difficult to follow up even for the ‘literally enlightened” people. Guess who needs a lesson from Shahnawaz mam!
The focus is all on to the spotless Andre Tautou who is actually declared the surviving descendent of Jesus Christ……… Jesus Christ! And for some unknown reason the realization of truth by Tom Hanks, in the last, brilliantly cinematographed sequence, is kept to himself.
It is very evident that movie makers learnt nothing from the Vitru-vius man. Or else they wouldn’t have blown the controversy out of proportion!
Maybe this description is too critical, but such a subject required a lot of caution and authentication. It simply fails to convince.
However, as they say… “The picture shows what the eyes want to see” !!

Written for sappenings groups. The most controversial movie ever...i thought it deserved a review!

Two Point Perspective



Exit Dubai and enter Doha. Exit future and enter the past. From the pompous and glamorous city of Dubai, Doha is a complete contrast….visually…emotionally…and whatever ‘allys’ one could think of! Somehow it feels familiar and full memories. Or it may be so to a person who is perhaps trying to re-capture images of his childhood. The unpaved footpaths, undeveloped patches of desert amidst buildings, never ending days and even longer nights, rare traffic jams, countable population….all remind me of how UAE used to be 8 years ago. And having seen UAE become what it has, I can guess where Doha is heading. But that’s improbable and that’s good!

Everything in Doha is round! Arranged in a radial pattern, the roads always end in round-a-bouts … and continue. Traffic signals are a rare sight ..and when sighted, are at the weirdest positions. The richness and ‘life’ which Dubai, as a city, had due to life size signage’s and colorful advertisement hoardings (strategically placed, mind you!), is totally absent here. It’s raw, it’s deserted…it’s cooler and it’s heaven! Interpret heaven as peaceful.

The sun, which is right up in the sky as early as 4 in the ‘night’, is blinding – going very well with the crisp white cloaks of the locals. They are simply unmistakable and impeccable. Regal and proud. Nothing could possibly shatter them!

Doha is young and carefree. Be it the scale of their development (compared to its scope) or its inhabitants. You can see more number of genuine sports bikes in a day than you may have seen in your lifetime! Standing on the Corniche edge and watching the miniature skyline of the central city on the other side, one can literally feel a city growing …. inching towards the sky. And the most authoritative, and still the best of the lot in terms of design, seal of the Sheraton Hotel is stamped on the skyline saying …. “DOHA – ISSUED FOR CONSTRUCTION”!!



If these two cities were in the famous rabbit and turtle race – considering designing and constructing the ideal futuristic city as the finish line – then Dubai would be the rabbit and Doha the turtle. Ok….maybe that’s an exaggeration….but you get the idea...don’t you!? Only wish that Doha follows and justifies the slow and steady lesson, coz Dubai has throttled ahead…for better or for worse.

There is so much more that an LIK person could observe, analyze and conclude through such an experience …. but there is a limit to the vocabulary of the author and a limit of patience to those reading this!! So this ain’t the end of the tale … yet! Watch out for BZJV!!! 

Written while in Doha for Practical Training. BZJV is short for Bari & Zoha Joint Venture - our presentation when we were to get back in college. It eventually happened on March, the 17th 2007 - five months later than it should have.


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One Point Perspective



A larger than life and farther than it seems banner says ‘history rising’. One day is not enough for a new person to find his destination in a maze of roadways. Public transport is as efficient as it is in Hyderabad. The only visible differences being vacuum doors, absence of conductors and the ‘ticket generating machine’ beside the driver. The invisible one being the air condition. People crowd around the bus doors when the bus arrives but there is no body contact. They complain about the government while waiting for the bus in foreign English accents, which will take an Indian a good while to classify it as a ‘crib’. The taxi drivers will possess costlier cell phones than the passengers they carry. But, thankfully, passengers will wear better scents!
Foreigners outnumber the locals. And everyone of them is proud of his/her ability to speak the local language. The landscapes from city to city presents no variation, like the garbs which cover its inhabitants and their ‘air’. This fact perhaps justifies the emergence of grandiose ideas and their subsequent realization into reality. The construction industry believes in the new adidas motto…’impossible is nothing’. Architects and engineers are engaged in an eternal battle for ‘space’. The final product satisfies neither, but the client is all praise. There are some of the very best examples of architecture and some of the worst. Very few can be accredited as innovative or creative…most irrational. But the whole construction activity really makes one see it as ‘history in the making’. A history in which sparrows don’t vanish from the cities!



A single day’s newspaper will be equal in material and content to five days of paper in Hyderabad. And cost more than five times. There will be news of new project announcements with their budgets (always in millions) and estimated time of completion, along with news of a shopping mall which drowned when it rained. So it doesn’t happen only in India after all!
Speaking of malls, it is a nightmare. Literally. There is a hundred times more choice than you need. People like me end up never buying anything at all.
Life somehow gets into a routine. No adventure presents itself, but you can find one if you look for it. One of the best parts of living here is that you have to part with very few currency notes and coins for simple jobs. Worst part is that you receive not many of them (thought those few can get you a lot) at the first of every month!
That’s Dubai for you. And if you wanna know what Doha is like, wait till the end of June.

Nadia pahadh jheel aur jharne jungle aur wadi…dil mein hai kiske ishaare!


 


Written while in Dubai for Practical Training for sappenings groups

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Kaizen



“This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill……….Fifteen percent concentrated power of will ---- Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain……….And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!” 

There is a difference between knowing the path …and walking it. Walk we did … but the destination still remains elusive. Mistakes overlooked….shortcomings unidentified….comparisons avoided….and silence! Conclusion drawn….we were unfairly done in! No doubt it sounds very consoling…but seriously…is there a more cowardly manner to accept defeat…or rather, to not accept it? Does it need a Japanese philosophy to get the message across? Well…if it does…then here it is…
‘Kai’ – continuous, ‘Zen’ – improvement …. a philosophy focused in a different direction from the "command-and-control" improvement programs of the mid-20th century. We don’t need to know this…do we? All we need to know is what command do we have over our subjects and what control do we exercise when it comes to competition.
Clean sweep in the Birla Floor Design competition….. a special mention at NASA in Mumbai….. still skeptical about participation in the Ideas Design competition and the INSDAG student award competition. ….
Alright…just to make things clear…. readers are supposed to draw comparisons from last year and reach conclusions collectively. Logical conclusions at that…the ones which will inspire our ‘kaizen’ curve to take a bend upwards. The onus is on promoting discussion followed, necessarily, by action. What makes CSIIT are not the individuals only…..but the individuals together as one whole mass. Through Kaizen….test your awareness of the standing of CSIIT in architectural circles…and then your own standing in CSIIT. Do that, and hopefully you will find out that immortality is not unattainable.
There is a difference between knowing your goal……and reaching it! Those who reach their goals are the ones remembered…..not the ones who knew them! Mike Shinoda speaks the obvious at the beginning….that is all what takes for our names to be remembered! Are we up for it? 

Written as an editorial for the Febuary 2006 issue of sappenings. The issue was banned and never circulated.

Crash



How to review something which has neither a beginning nor an end?! ……

Its 15 minutes now since I wrote the first sentence and I still don’t know where to start…..
Alright … let’s try…

Uncountable characters … all living in their own little worlds … ‘crashing’ into one another in a series of unavoidable incidences! Yeah . .. that’s a fitting definition. It’s a modern western Malgudi Days… the movie could go on forever and still you wont find an end to it, nor for that matter, remember where it all started!

You don’t know what is happening for the first quarter of the movie. And just when you are getting the hang of what is happening, you are clueless as to why it’s happening for the next quarter. By this time you are convinced that this movie is another “no sense all the way and surprise at the end’ types. That’s exactly when it happens … and ”it” makes the hair of your arm stand up leaving you unsure of how to react of what just happened. Now you know there is a point to all of it, but there is a good 40 minutes to reach to it. The “coming together” of the movie is very well directed, edited and impeccably acted, specially in one instance where a strong-hearted individual could actually breakdown.

Amidst a few loopholes and unexplained happenings the script revolves around the racial discrimination between blacks and whites. But that is just a means of portrayal for the underlying theme. What does a person do in helpless situations? How does one react to totally unavoidable circumstances? Watch this movie for the answers to these questions … enacted. And when you identify yourself with those reactions you will regret the fact that there is no background music in real life!

Sitting through this movie is like living another day of a normal life, only the setting changed. As the lyrics “Maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home” fade away in a rhythm… the movie ends …but your life doesn’t!!

It has more food for thought than mentioned here. Nobody knows half of the acting crew save Sandra Bullock and Brenden Fraser (ten minutes screen presence each), all of whom are flawless.
I wonder what were they doing all this time … and where the hell was Paul Haggis??? 

Written for sappenings groups.

Chicken Little



Animated movies have a reputation of portraying the importance of relationships in a very creative and subtly humorous way. The likes of The Lion King, Ice Age, etc…..will always find a special place in memories of their audiences. This is what “Chicken Little” fails to create.

Pigs, fishes, ducks and chickens might not be too funny by natural order…but when they are cast in a Walt Disney movie…they are supposed to be!!
A little chicken … misunderstood by everybody, including his father, to be a fake …goes about proving himself to be of some worth. Help by a duckling friend and the run of events give him that chance, which he grabs. By this time you realize that the movie doesn’t have the usual “believing in oneself” philosophy. The underlying theme of the movie, which surfaces in the last half of the movie, is that of believing in others. Very rightly it shows how others’ believe in a person, can drive him to achieve the impossible. Lesson of trust is taught using the example of the father, who originally doubts his son. But later, it is his trust in his son, that makes him a hero.
Okay…maybe I am making too much out of a very small father son episode (LIK hangover I suppose), but honestly that is the only positive I got out of the movie. Though the characters do have a few ‘intelligently humorous’ moments, none of those really stay with you after the movie is over. You hardly notice there is a fish in the movie who is trying to act funny, and if you do not have an unconditional affection for pigs, u will find the one in this movie annoying and overweight.
Go for this movie if you are too scared to see aeroplanes being smashed by a giant ape (in case of doubt…that sentence was supposed to be a sarcasm for KingKong)
But seriously, it will make more sense than any other movie running at i-max now. 

Written for sappenings groups.

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