Monday, December 24, 2012

Brrrrrrrrrr...aving the collllllld

I seem to be the only one who is not at all happy to experience the Kolkata winter. Everyone else seems quite eager to bring out their winter plumage and bedding and savour every degree of the fall in mercury.

I feel wretched. I always seem to feel cold, especially in the afternoon...even under the quilt I seem to freeze ! I don't feel like getting up early, I don't feel like going anywhere (because I have to undress and then dress again and well, you get the drift ....), I don't feel like washing my hair for days on end, I'm petrified of catching a cold and coughing and sneezing all the time, I hate the marbled surfaces in the kitchen, bathrooms and living room, I hate the fact that the tip of my nose always seem terribly short, I hate the makes me miserable indeed. And grumble quite a lot, as you can see.

That reminds me of our trip to Bangalore last August. Everyone goes ga ga about the splendid weather in the Garden City. I wondered.

I soon found out that it needed quite some adjusting to. For a can't live without the sun person like me, the bracing early morning chill was anything but desirable. K took this highly embarrassing snap on his mobile which he and Ayan, our friend and host, still laugh over. I was still in bed, to be fair. But the photo is hilarious indeed. See for yourself !

Well, what can I say. Just that I like the sun a lot !!!! :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pathbreaker: Sanjay Puri

Although physics-phobic, there's a particular branch of engineering I wish I had had the resolve to pursue. Architecture.

Even more so when I read of radicals like Sanjay Puri. The man, trained by Hafeez Contractor, has not only revolutionised the discipline in India but also won numerous awards, national and international for his landmark creations:

This chapel at Murcia, Spain has been stalled for paucity of funds but one hopes it shall be completed soon, given the unprecedented location, potential and visualisation:

The following is a photo of The Palmyra in Mauritius:

This design of a school in Rajasthan definitely catches one's attention. It's eye-catching, futuristic and eco-friendly:

The next picture shows the Terasa 153 building for a site in Montenegro, a tiny country in Europe:

Of course, what I personally look forward to is the completion of the chapel in Murcia. With a view like this from the chapel, even an atheist would turn into a believer.

 I sincerely hope many other budding architects take a cue from him and breathe new life into a discipline that  now occupies centrestage in an increasingly urbanised least, we would have something to look forward to, even amidst a concrete jungle.

Here is a site where you'll find details and larger photos of the above projects:

For a list of awards, check out:

Friday, December 07, 2012


Nowadays I don't feel like blogging. So little seems to be happening in my life.

Well, that's not true, strictly speaking. For instance, we just celebrated Sports Day at school. But the entire process of getting my class to go down to the field in a disciplined manner seemed an effort. Add to that, pulling up a handful of intractable ones who simply would not understand that being outdoors is not equal to Tarzanesque behaviour, sapped all my energy. Besides, the whole process of making them queue up, counting heads, getting them to board the schoolbus headed for Rabindra Sarobar stadium, ensuring that they sat down properly in the bus, distributing food packets, making them wait patiently in the hot sun for their turn to all seemed to have drained me of creativity in other areas. Finally, I was obliged to try the concept of 'positive reinforcement' on your best in the drill and you'll all get a well-deserved treat at the end. No, I haven't kept my word yet although I do intend to.

I was looking through a schoolmate's birthday album on Facebook yesterday and that led me to view some more of her albums. Which led me to the realisation that she was leading the sort of life I once aspired to. Working, interior decorating, baking and cooking, reading a lot, celebrating with friends, travelling through almost half the countries of Europe and others that do matter to us travel-lovers. I didn't browse through all her albums after all. I felt wretched and unhappy, as if time was spilling fast from one cup of the hourglass into another. And that I was not really as' liberated' as I had thought.

Travelling, I realised, makes me feel alive. As do the processes of baking/cooking and decorating my home. A routine job does nothing for my mental health although sometimes one doesn't have any other option. The fact that my friend lives abroad doesn't affect me in any way. I have lived in the USA for fourteen months and hated the east coast winters enough to curl up in bed and cry, wishing I were dead and gone or less dramatically, back in my own tropical climate (despite the equally repulsive Kolkata summers). The fact that the Recession coincided with my efforts to find a job after I got my work permit (in record time) did nothing to better the nature of the frequent rides on my emotional rollercoaster. And yet, here I am with a good job in a reputed school, a wonderful work atmosphere and a clement climate....moping.

I guess it's time I found some other outlet for my creativity.


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