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Showing posts from June, 2014

Parched Rage

"At night we will set our poems 
adrift in ginger ale bottles 
each with a clamshell rudder 
each with a piggyback spider" -Maxine Kumin

Today is the last day of June and there's no rain yet. The Earth is parched with the farmer's dry brow, and the heat refuses to heal the chapped lips. The gods are angry, and his children lay awake at night to sleep forever, till dawn, leaving behind those they created to battle everyday deaths.
And I read poetry, trying to figure out the melancholy that leads its way to my heart.
There are weddings happening in the square near where I live, and people dance to music, all frolic, brightly dressed, laden with jewellery, crackers bursting in the hot sun, remains of leftover food lying around, and stray dogs sleeping in the shade of roadside trees. All makes for a depressing sight, and heart-breaking too.
The man who sells flowers sits in a corner on a nearby pavement, busy rolling the jasmine, kewda and frangipani flowers in Palash lea…


I have started feeling too old for birthdays now. Not only my own, others as well (my friends that is!) I wouldn't want to snatch the joys of younger cousins. Is it owing to a phenomenon known as 'GROWING UP?' I've even started receiving birthday mails that speak more about getting old and grey-haired and wise that saddens me for no reason. Not that I was always a very excited-about-birthdays person, but its nice to see people remember and call you which otherwise rarely happens these days ever since whatsapp has taken over all other forms of communication. I know that I look forward to birthdays only to hear my not-so-distant friends call me and then we catch up on all the long due conversation that could have happened had we not been so busy in our professional lives. Such lies! I have given up feeling sad because a friend I expected would call did not. Honestly, we all should brace ourselves now for such disappointments as we grow old. In fact, I remember what a fr…

Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he’d call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house, Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?
(I cried and cried and cried while reading these lines and for a such a long time after being done with it.. I LOVE YOU, DADDY... I haven't put these sentiments into words yet, trying to...) ***I am such a cry baby!

An interpretation about Sustainability and Sustainable Design

The Merriam-Webster’s have an insightful definition of the word sustainable.
: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed : involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources : able to last or continue for a long time
When humans first started their civilized journey, this revolution consisted in the development of the domestication of plants and animals and the development of new sedentary lifestyles which allowed economies of scale and productive surpluses. According to Terri Peters, the terms sustainable design and ecological architecture are firmly a part of the contemporary culture of architecture and building. Conservation today aims to preserve the resources available now after the enormous usage and abusage in the past few decades.
Environmental concerns and crisis is now being reflected through the design solutions seen in developing economies. Where glass facades are still seen in aplenty, exposed brick and mud made popular by Laurie B…

"On the Contrary"

We mustn't judge harshly- after all, we must always remember that many times our own actions may be misconstrued. One of my most favorite things to do on an idle day at home is to go through book shelves and leaf through passages from some beloved books.
I laid my hands on "On the Contrary: Essays by Men and Women" edited by Martha Rainbolt and Janet Fleetwood. This book has the finest articles contributed by social and political thinkers like Aristotle, Maya Angelou, Eldridge Cleaver, Simone de Beauvoir, Joan Didion, Lillian Hellman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Adrienne Rich, Mary McCarthy, John Stuart Mill, Susan Sontag, E.B.White, Virginia Woolf..and many more.

Adrienne Rich in an article titled "Taking Women Students Seriously" writes:
Suppose we were to ask ourselves, simply: What does a woman need to know? Does she not, as a self-conscious, self-defining human being, need a knowledge of her own history, her much-politicized biology, an awareness of the crea…

Journalistas- 100 years of the Best Writing and Reporting by Women Journalists

This is one of my most favorite books on Essays by Women. This list of contents was written by someone on Goodreads and I am happy to share it here because its important to have access to some of the most brilliant minds in Journalism. Not all of these articles are written by Journalists. Feminists and Social Thinkers and Writers like Susan Sontag, Alice Walker, Erica Jong, Sylvia Pankhurst, Betty Friedan, Joan Didion, Rebecca West have written searing pieces that ought to be read by all men and women, alike. 
I read this book, way back in 2010 borrowed from American Library and still remember sharing my views and discussing articles while reading, with women co-passengers  during train journeys. They were all pretty excited about the title of the book. I remember talking about Godhra Riots and Women Journalists like Teesta Setalvad who took up the fight on behalf of the victims. Its all fresh in my memory. I long to read this book again. Its tricky to find it in bookstores. Hope many …

The Rat-race for more marks

Today, the CBSE- Central Board of Secondary Education results came out and my cousin scored a whopping 94%. YES! 94 percentile. When everybody called him up for congratulations, he seemed a little dejected saying he had expected at least 98%. We were shocked. Here's a bright kid who has scored marks in the 90 percentile and still feels he could have upped his score a little more.

What are we turning our kids into? Why is the Educational system demanding such high standards from youngsters who are running after "numbers" rather than concentrating on the knowledge they gather for their lifetime? Are we enforcing an "only marks" system, whereupon if someone scores in 80 percentile should totally feel like a criminal for not making it to the 90 percentile group? I remember my Board Examination results from 11 years ago- a decade, where the system of announcing toppers in the state and city was prevalent and often resulted in a depressing time for so many kids. I f…

Goodbye, Madan Sir!

Prof. S.Y.Madan
May your soul rest in Peace, Sir.

We'll always remember you! I deeply regret not meeting you. I kept thinking someday I'll visit you at your home yet didn't. You were the Kindest person I knew at Sir JJCOA. You have been so kind and generous to me- I'll never forget it. I'll miss our conversations. JJ will not be the same place again without you. 

I will miss studio sessions with him. He loved candy and Diki bought him guava flavored candies from her hometown-Aizawl, during our thesis. I remember him relishing them and enjoying and his gentle laughter. I so regret not being able to meet him after passing out of college. He was the kindest person I knew at Sir JJCOA. I have so many memories of him. Difficult to believe he's no more with us.
I should have met him.. I regret it now. He was a kind soul, a child at heart and an amazing thesis guide as well. May your soul rest in peace, Sir! You will be always remembered by me and Diki for your kindness!

What is wrong with our country?

My blood boils in anger seeing this massive load of impossible injustice and atrocities committed every waking minute in our country. Are we here just to sit by, comfortably cocooned in our circles; not bothering to look up and beyond social mediums?
Khairlanji William Nagar, Meghalaya Nirbhaya Shakti Mills Badaun Bareilly
What Next?
Exterminating Women?
Why is nobody speaking up against the Badaun rape and murder of the two teenage girls? Because, they were poor, low-caste and girls. They were girls who have no rights to live in this world, they do not deserve to be out on the fields or on the road without being teased, insulted, assaulted and murdered. WHAT India are we talking about? This India, in 2014 which is hailed for its ability to churn out engineers, analysts, businessmen, leaders with the potential to change the world, are we truly even looking in the interiors of our nation? This is an India- Where women are worshipped during a nine day long festival symbolizing power and othe…

An Evening by the Sea.

I write and delete words, rewrite some more, only to find myself jumbled at my confused to be-narrative about a saturday walk with dear friends. One of them, a native and the other new to Mumbai. I like the feeling of excitement that still grips me when I am meeting my favorite people. It involves laughter, primarily; lots of "attentive" banter on the city, architecture, people; and most important fond memories to carry forward.
Typically saturdays are always so full of life- people crowding at Marine Drive, at Gateway of India, at the Chowpatty beaches, and cafes particularly. It seems like the entire city is flocking out of their nests towards the sea. And, it adds to the charm of the walk if we have a photographer friend with us. Shades of sea, lamp-posts and quirky panoramas of the citylights. Are we living a blessed life? Hell YES!

I know that I am a romantic at heart when it comes to sitting by the sea watching sunsets and quietly reminiscing poetry with a dazzled min…