Nov 28, 2011

The Slap of Insanity

You might remember Jarnail singh who sent a shoe flying in the direction of Union Home minister P.Chidambaram some time back.
This time, another sardar grabs the headlines with a slap. Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar's cheeks were at the receiving end.

A slap or a shoe cannot change things overnight. It’s hardly the punishment fit for all the misdeeds of the political class in a democracy. I strongly disagree to such violent protests. But surprisingly, everyone I talk to seems immensely satisfied with what an insane sardar did to an all powerful politician. Someone remarked, Pawar’s face already looks like it was slapped a hundred times before, Harvinder should have gone for some other neta. Anna Hazare infamously remarked “was it only one slap?” . Some said Pawar sahab should have, as a true democrat, shown his other cheek. Some went on an uncontrollable bout of laughter after watching the clip.Some one went on to make a bizarre kolaveri version of the whole incident.The social media was having a gala time laughing it out.

But every politician cutting across party lines stood united in condemning this insane act as they easily could have been at the receiving end any other day. The Bollywood bandwagon instantly united as usual to tweet its condemnation to make sure they are in the good books of the Bombay strongman. The media was abuzz with the regular self styled upholders of democratic values fighting for space to decry the slap. As expected, Pawars’ NCP went on a rampage in Maharashtra by stone pelting and destroying public property in protest against this undemocratic act.

But beyond all these, I saw a dangerous reaction in the face of so many Indians- a smile! Happy to know that there are still sardars like Jarnail and Harvinder, who can do things that we can never dare to with our sanity intact.
We call ourselves sane...yet we are insane enough to remain silent and put up with the misdeeds of our politicians. They say Harvinder Singh is mentally insane…
But does it mean, sometimes you have to be insane to do the right thing? What do you say?

Nov 27, 2011

The Meenakshi Temple of Madurai

the Temple elephant

the colonnaded verandah around the tank

the usual rush...

a statue in the hall of 1000 pillars

a stone spout detail

a stone the hall of 1000 pillars

the golden lotus tank...

a corridor

tower from below...

a gateway...

facade details...

Some snapshots from the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple. Dravidian Temple architecture at its best! Sculpted in one of the hardest granites of the world...a must visit place for temple architecture lovers.

Nov 25, 2011

Pallathur House

The empty lanes of Pallathur

The imposing main entry

The Living Hall with clear storey lighting

Colorful Pillar and Aathangudi tiles

Courtyard colonnade

The grand courtyard

another view of the court

rain water collection urn..

rain water collected

entrance porch...woodwork

Last year as part of an Architect's festival, I had gone on a trip to study Chettinad Architecture along with some fellow Architects...The photos are from a house at Pallathur.It was sad to see these massive houses, once symbols of opulence, dying without maintenance as mostly the owners have moved to the cities or abroad. 

Nov 24, 2011

Valayapatti visit...

The temple on the way

Sometime back I visited my friend CT's native village in Valayapatti near Ponamaravati in the Chettinad region. The images are from CT's ancestral house.Chettinad houses are fine examples of vernacular Tamil architecture where the culture and climate of the region  have shaped
the building design. The Courtyard is one distinct feature here that Iam so fond of and I have always tried to reinterpret and use in most of my architectural works.

Temple entry...

the Temple Cart...
The intricate parapet of the house...

a window detail...

the famous Chettinad main door...

Teak wood pillars in the verandah

Urns for catching rain water - signs of sustainable living

The court yard...

Nov 22, 2011

The 'Kolaveri'...


Why this Kolaveri di?’-A Tanglish soft kuthu song that’s spreading and infecting millions, thanks to the internet. This is the kind of groovy nonsensical song that one would expect next from the duo of Simbu and Yuvan after masterpieces like loosu pennae and ‘evandi onna pethan. But this has come from the stable of the first families of the South Indian Film industry. Super star Rajini’s son inlaw Danush has penned and sung this 'soup song' for his upcoming movie ‘3’; produced and directed by Rajini's daughter Aishwarya  and music by a lanky kid Anirudh, incidentally Rajini's nephew. Kamal Hassan’s daughter Shruti approvingly smiles throughout in the video. The reggaeish number is catchy enough to become the mobile ring tone of the youngsters and the car reverse tune of the not so youngsters. Other soup boys still may hum in their pa pa paan, pa pa pa paan....
aaa…Eyes-u full-aa tear-u, empty life-u, Girl-u come-u, life reverse gear-u...

Nov 16, 2011

a Temple on the way...

The Mandabam
The entrance
a quiet Nagarathar Temple that caught my eye near Soorakudi on my way to Aathangudi...

Nov 14, 2011

My Days Of Innocence !

Nithila at work : )

Childhood days - life's best part;
Worries, burdens - not at all;
A mind at peace, a jumping heart,
A spring of happiness- sky tall!

Hide and seeks, scribbling walls
And little games of endless bliss;
Little mischief, tumbling falls-
The hurt was soothened with a kiss!

Soaring kites, spinning top,
The screech of a neighbor's calling bell;
Fish in pond and bubbles of soap;
Gave such joy - who can tell !

Comic books under desk at school,
Paper boats and papaya leaves;
The fun of playing April fool
And coming home with ink & grease;

Watching ants with a lens,
Playing marbles with a friend;
Building mud house, jumping fence,
Gave happiness that knew no end!

Sea shells, pebbles, bottle tops
And catapults were more than wealth;
Ice sticks, sugar sweets and lolly pops
Another bite - who cared for health!

Thro' the window catching rain;
Hunting earthworms, shaping clay;
Waving hands at a passing train
Are glimpses of a perfect day!

Home Works - O! Such silly stuff;
Very oft our plans they hinder -
But, God answered prayers-lights go puff
And playtime it was with candle fire!

Peaceful sleep, sharp at nine;
Sweet dreams of fairytale;
The Tune of life was far too fine
Than the songs of a nightingale!

A life of happiness, a life carefree;
A life content with simple things;
It’s the Life - you will agree
That took us to moon without the wings!

How fast has Time turned his wheel !
Why did those days turn past tense?
I close my eyes in silence to feel
In my heart - my days of Innocence!

[Today is Children's day. Iam re-posting a poem I had written for a College competition in 1993]

Nov 3, 2011

The Rage Of Nature

Photo: Tharangambadi beach

The rage of the wave
  The wrath of the ocean
Swept the sorry nation
  To the watery grave.
Roofless homes, homeless souls
  Tossed and torn
At the crack of dawn
  On the tragic shores.

The cars are in the sea
  The boats are on the street
Where the land and water meet-
  What Chaos and Catastrophe!
There’s nowhere to run
  and nowhere to hide;
Nature’s other side
  when irate spares none.

The Whiteman on the beach
  Looking for a tan;
The brown man on catamaran
  Looking for the catch;
Vanished sans a trace;
  All to the water-prey.
Equal on dooms day
  all wretched human race;

Water, water everywhere
  But no water in the eye;
The tears had gone dry
  Lifeless, calm, bare.
The rage of the wave
  The wrath of the ocean
Shook the very notion
  That Nature man can enslave.

(written on the backdrop of  the Tsunami -2004)