Blog Archives

The City as Muse- Thoughts during a night drive- Aug 26, 2012

Night time drives have always been fun for me. Last night, we rove from Gurgaon to Civil Lines, Delhi to receive mummy, who was returning from the month-long gruelling and, from what I understand, fantastic adventure of the Kailash Mansarover Yatra (she will blog about it in good time, keep your eyes peeled!)

To get to ISBT, we decided to take the Barapulla and then the Ring Road Bypass. It took us barely an hour to get there on a Sunday night and it was a great drive. As I clicked the pics below, feeling a tad foolish for behaving rather like a tourist, I realized that the city is indeed my Muse. Nothing fires my cylinders like the urban environment around me. Pastoral scenes, lovely as they are, can move me immensely. But city scenes, even the filth and haphazardness, make me feel energized. I don’t think I was aware of this when I chose architecture and then urban planning as my subjects of study. I guess, then, I should thank my starts for ending up in the right spot! I must also say, though, that I do not think one needs training to appreciate the city. I know many (authors, painters, photographers, social workers) for whom the City is the Muse…it’s a sign of the time we live in, our increasingly urban identity. And it signifies the natural instinct of human beings to celebrate their surroundings, and to seek happiness and fulfillment in their context.

I cannot get over how pretty the JN Stadium looks as you drive by

Tombs like this strew the landscape of Delhi, reminding us of how our lives intertwine with the ghosts of the past

A faux-Stupa stands in the vast Indraprastha Park along the Ring Road



Elevated views in Delhi- Aug 12, 2012

Every Thursday, I get the opportunity to drive back from SPA using the Barapulla. That controversial elevated road that was built in preparation of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It slices through Delhi. It offers new views, very unexpected ones for someone who has been accustomed to Delhi roads and the views they offer for near on two decades! It crosses many government colonies and many urban villages, you see the crowded, haphazard, highly dense fabric of the city. You see real lives, real people.

I stopped at a little market the other day somewhere near Thiagaraj Stadium to buy fruits and there was a lively discussion going on about how much the local chakki (mill) charges to grind a kilo of wheat into flour. And I wondered at whether we who switch loyalties between supermarkets can begin to understand lives that continue to span the urban-rural divide; one foot here, one foot there; mind here, heart there.

I got to click some interesting pictures from the elevated roads I took. Some of the art that went up in public spaces was spectacular, some terribly mundane. The JLN Stadium transformed from blah to blitz. I want to take more pictures on this route. It would be interesting to see how people use some of these spaces (or don’t because they can’t get to them).

Love these orbs…at AIIMS flyover!

While getting on to the Barapulla…Empty green islands..

Another view…

The spectacular JLN Stadium….Need to get off and take better images. loads of potential there for superb architectural photography




%d bloggers like this: