Monday, January 31, 2005

from 'the swimming pool library'

"theres nothing worse than making a bid for someone's body and getting their soul

alan hollinghurst.. my second book after his booker winning 'the line of beauty'.. sordid and sexy at the same time, can be very disturbing too.. some great lines though and the character sketches are so real its scary.. in both books.

'the line of beauty' by the way in the book is the ogee curve of gothic arches.
see below..

hey mr dj

this post is dedicated to sameer or vishwanathan iyer..
friend of mine and now a dj on the internet and american college radio. his show it seems is called 'made in england' on 'widener university student radio' that he programs and presents.
it is absolutely great that instead of succumbing to the far too easy path of the conventional middle of the road that most indians in america choose, he is experimenting with new avenues to explore. congratulations sam! and i will try and listen to you on the internet one day.

The WDNR Web Site

Sunday, January 30, 2005

le boucher

saw this today and i have been trying for a while to get quotes that say what i want to say about the film- cus i am too chicken to say it myself. but everyone i find seems to think the film is a thriller about a school headmistress and a butcher and a serial killer. its true- it is a thriller set in the french countryside- but it is so much more.. the 'human condition' i think is what we hear in so many reviews about films .. (what does that mean anyways?) anyways- it explains the film for me..
the dreadful violence, the inherent madness of civilisation, the unexplainable things that draw us to each other and the lengths we can go to feel alive.

Claude Chabrol on FilmRef.Com

Saturday, January 29, 2005

the floating truck

the city has been overrun with strange machines .. these reptiles with tentacles and claws.. we see them all over the place moving boulders, dumping mud, drilling rock.. the MUIP has struck.. Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project.. for all you who dont know.
here is a strange one- a truck thats hovering over the edge of the western express highway, everyday.

page 3

a wildean portrait of mumbai high society with great lines and characters until a crime reporter walks in in the form of atul kulkarni and the movie degenerates into an 'expose' of the 'underbelly' of the city complete with degenerate homosexuals, extra marital affairs, lustful lecherous men, drug traffickers, addicts and white skinned (and brown skinned) paedophiles.
it was funny how a film supposedly critical of a way of life expolited its subject shamelessly to titillate /shock complete with an 'item number' and naked pre teen butts paraded on screen.
badly made good film. terribly tackily shot and the sets were tawdry. but i think it worked better because of it.
konkana sen is fabulous. think i will see 'mr and mrs iyer' for her.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

the shifting edge of the city

towards madh

towards versova(kind of)

towards mindspace

went to the top of a skyscraper by shakti parmar with the kids from the fourth year today and looked over the lokhandwala and versova mangroves. amazing potential they seem to have. the edges need to become more defined i think and then perhaps the encroachment will also stop- though that just may be wishful thinking.

look at the photo towards mindspace.. the edge garden sponsored by the oberois. think its silly that it is walled off from the main road, but remove that wall and its actually quite a nice transition to the mangroves. can imagine that going alll the way to mindspace.. finalising the edge of the city.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

cuddly bureaucracy and the pageant of democracy

on doordarshan which now has a sense of nostalgia for me, as it does for mukul (see here).. in the morning me and mom sit and watch the republic day parade. a pageant of all things 'indian' and in that sense the nation in its parts parading down rajpath - not janpath.

i must say i absolutely loved the railway department's float with its miniature chattrapati shivaji terminus- with half a train stuck into it with real life size commuters reading books and leaning out of the doors. the one behind it was this strange monstrosity of hands reaching up to touch voting machines forming a flower of sorts- like a horror movie.

i was imagining who the guy was, in which pale yellow colored room, behind which thick dusty wooden desk amidst rows of files, every year dreaming up these creations. there must be a sub department with its own peon somewhere in the bureaucracy called the 'department of republic day parade floats'; perhaps a sub-set of the 'department of public relations' or is it the 'propoganda department' . what if i was that man?
would i go on tours of the country to take photographs of the cst, live in a railway guest house for three days in mumbai. what would i wear?

its amazing how these hulking large dinosaurs present themselves as cute cuddly little bunnies in the parade. cho chweet. perhaps it has something to do with my age that i find them, dare i say it, 'cuddly'. frightening thought. collecting soviet propoganda posters as 'kitsch'.

maybe it is the distance that i somehow have from them that makes me imagine that i am immune to their far more disturbing aspects. there is nostalgia there. distance. almost anything can seem to become acceptable and even adorable if it is not experienced anymore.

ps- i wonder just how politically incorrect would we think it is if we saw blonde men and women do a red indian tribal dance in full costume on the washington dc mall to celebrate american independence.

new phone

i have a new phone- after i lost/ someone stole my last one - trusted battered nokia 3315. decided to get a camera phone now and chose the sony ericsson k500i.. with technical advice and moral support form ninad.. then spent all of yesterday trying to figure it out. and dont think i have a hang of it yet. here is pic of it from the net.

an architect

again on request- this time for reva in glasgow;
and mayuri, namrata and kalpit (who think the profile pic is just 'too much'- tongue in cheek- naturally.. )
thanks for all the pics, by the way, reva- love them..

check the distorted hands in the foreground- and the intense look at the camera. so very back cover profile of architectural monograph.
now i just need some work for the content.

Monday, January 24, 2005

sonal the birthday girl

happy birthday to my dear sister.. mad girl..
and here is photo of us with dollar and the old 'paros' black and white tv from ages ago..

Sunday, January 23, 2005

night and fog

alain resnais in 1955 made this film about the nazi concentration camps.
juxtaposing brutal disturbing black and white footage from the past with shots of the architecture of the buildings in the camps today (or at least the time he was making the film)
an attempt to read into our past and our possible future through a look into our souls.

the evidence being footprints. scratches on concrete walls. air vents. and found footage.

somewhat similar to the other resnais film i saw 'last year at marienbad' especially the lingering dream like nature that the film creates through the cameras caresses in space.

a great film. highly recommended.

stranger than paradise

the american landscape seemed so familiar. the images reminded me of the edges of the city that i lived in- the interiors of cars, the suburban homes, the back streets, the motels and really big american cars. and the characters were dislocated, lonely, longing.

was apprehensive in the beginning with the 'single shot - black screen - single shot' structure.. or the three part 'new world'; 'one year later'; 'paradise' form, and all the stark black and white with synch sound ..
got over that quickly - thankfully.

Jim Jarmusch's 'Stranger Than Paradise'

shakti : the power... yeh ishq kameena

was at the gateway of india yesterday for the 'shakti' concert- the 'hep concert' according to bahaar's aunt. forget my inherent puritanism regarding form, fusion music with its jazzlike structure perhaps could be fun, i thought, since i do like pop quite a lot.

and most of it started off all right.. it was about the lilts and crescendoes of the music piece, the heart stopping off beat rhythm sructures that leave you grasping and gasping for the next one. it was good then..

after a while it became about the musical performance- the energy of the musician with the instrument- the plain physicality of creating sound.. it was entertaining even then..

but then it finally became about the musical personality.. his dexterity, his amazing skill, his hairdo or his fake accent (as in the case of zakir - whats with "derived from a naawrth eendeean semy classical styiile called tooomri").. and for me that was the death of the music..

when the cult of personality subsumes first the performer and then the music itself.. then all my reaction to it is just surface..

and unfortunately the more ridiculous the antics on stage, the more and more thrilled the crowd got.. falling for show offs! first prajakta is in the final three and ravinder ravi is till around on 'indain idol', and now encouraging these performing monkeys.. my faith in 'by the people' is taking a battering..

anyways, personally i don't really care about how difficult it is to create something as much as i care how beautiful it is ( now we might go on debating the fascist doctrine of beauty and its horrible proponents, but lets save that for later.. )

so then perhaps i am still a purist. not post-modern enough in spite of my claims to being a huge madonna fan.. too bad.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

mom and dad

Mom and Dad..
on request..
for Shankar in the US..

Thursday, January 20, 2005

indian i dull

ridiculous! this addiction..
i am completely hooked onto these talent reality shows.. and thursdays is just maddening
'american idol' first, then 'v super singer' and then 'indian idol'..
and me and mom under bedcovers (cus its 11 degrees in mumbai.. how did that happen!) watch two hours at a stretch..
and vote as well- on sms.. something crazy about this.. and get completely annoyed when the one we hate never seems to get eliminated.. we blame the sentimentality of the common man falling for all that grass roots bullshit ( dissing democracy meanwhile).. still the drama continues.. who got voted in , who got voted out..
as for my opinions- for the record..
prajakta is queen.. and ravinder sux.
please vote her in.. pls pls pls...

Sunday, January 16, 2005

its my only line

'mans crisis of identity in the latter half of the twentieth century'
'its the arts'
'owl-stretching time'

three more monty python's flying circus episodes

mumbai marathon

woke up in the morning to see 25000 (at least) people run round in a circle for various causes-
tsunami relief, national association for the blind, etc etc.. almost every politically correct cause you could imagine. and so many people. cst to cst.. helicopter over marine drive showing a sea of people of all descriptions colonizing the road.. quite wonderful.

the festival and the event..
lefebvre has something good to say about it, so i have heard.
how about when it is sponsored by standard chartered?

but i must say that the corporate logos were not too 'in your face' today

Rebekah - Liji and Sathish's daughterPosted by Hello


maybe like liv ullman in the film i should decide not to speak from now on- everything that i say will be a misinterpretation, an outright lie or a half truth.
i find it very difficult to be able to articulate what exactly the film was about for me.
so many things- all translucent and disjointed.
and everytime i begin to speak it reduces itself into cliche.
but yet, i feel the need to say something.
thats what the blog is for, no?
for whom i don't know. and for what?
yesterday i told aditya it must be about making my life into a series of 'events'
to be recorded and remembered and therefore not completely meaningless.

Susan Sontag :
"What Persona demonstrates is the lack of an appropriate language, a language that's genuinely full. All that is left is a language of lacunae, befitting a narrative strung along a set of lacunae or gaps in the 'explanation'. It is these absences of sense or lacunae of speech which become, in Persona, more potent than words while the person who places faith in words is brought down from relative composure and confidence to hysterical anguish."

'Persona' on IMDB

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

everyday life

henri lefebvre's poetic about joyce and the passion invested in the meanderings and imaginations of waking life through bloom in 'ulysses' .
like a fugue.. with themes and movements, cadences and still spaces..

what fascinates me about both is the the power it allows an individual..
to feel alive in the 'mundane everyday'..
through reason, imagination, passion, sensuality and compassion.

how beautiful. this faith.

'everyday life in the modern world'
henri lefebvre.. from the college library

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Aaji and Baba Posted by Hello

red robe yellow robe blue robe

zhang yimou's 'hero'
crouching tiger on steroids or the matrix on depressants
flying snow, sky and broken sword are assasins sent to kill the king of Qi
nameless has reportedly killed all three, and with each he has the honour to be ten paces closer to the king
exquisite flying fight / dance sequences
the same ones told in different voices- in different colours
all these flying chinese men and women

Saturday, January 08, 2005

the agendered agenda

so it would seem that there might be a common theme that runs through all the students i have for thesis- spaces for eunuchs (mayuris personal and interesting story), the results of deviant and illegitimate sex (kalpit and the legalisation of prostitution), the "secrets" of the city (ashish's strange vision of the city as thinking calculating organism), the interstices between ownerships (panchals world caught in between the railway and the road), the law itself (sabnis and the secular constitution's relationship with religion)...

is it only my imagination that this thread exists..
or that i imagine the concern is particular to their theses.
for is not architecture all about power in any case..
and this need to destabilize its inherent nature perhaps only results in not being able to embrace the potential of architecture to empower ..
for empowerment perhaps lies in the act of articulating as existent.. of staking a claim to being legitimate.
and affirmative action as intent need not be necessarily dismissed as archaic idealism.

Friday, January 07, 2005

snap snap, grin grin, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more?

just saw the first three episodes of monty pythons flying circus
whither canada
sex and violence and
how to recognize different types of tree from really far away

this post only to say
"monty python ki jai !"
and if you dont find them funny...
go back to 'friends' on your tv..

refer to:

the funniest joke in the world
the man with three buttocks

Monty Python Link

Sunday, January 02, 2005

cover version 2.0

i claudius - the dvd cover

just finished reading this..
recommended to soap opera fans- passions running high in ancient rome with incest murder patricide matricide(is that a word?) and every kind of twist and turnaround and double crossing scheming evil plots you can imagine..
i find it hard to believe that its based on a true story. background research required..
and need to read the sequel 'claudius the god' to know what happens after Caligula dies.

two kinds of histories

i just read in a book that there are two kinds of histories:
ones that inspire mankind to virtue; and
ones that inspire mankind to truth..
on introspection i must admit to preferring to read the latter and propogate the former..
must be my arrogant intinctive assumption about the general lack of intelligence in the greatest common denominator..
frightening- this insight into my own mind..

as a post script to that - i wonder what kind of history the conservation movement prefers.. considering the 'Listing Project' that i am working on.

the book, by the way, is robert graves' 'i, claudius'..

trial number 2 Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 01, 2005

new year

a happy new year to everybody
been a good boy today- just posted something - finally!! (sorry kausik) to the kalaghoda site.. still cant figure out what i need to do. it confusing this creative expression thing- architects are not used to it.. tell me you need a bathroom and i will choose the right tiles.
sonal sweetie has installed 'hello' on comp this- i am going to try it out.. NOW!
ok i give up..
must ask sonal