Monday, November 4, 2013

Weird Evening deep sleep

These things happen occasionally. Sleeping in the evening - from 5pm to 10pm and waking up - just to realize you are starving - and Ma has kept tea for you - cold, without sugar, without milk. The cup tells that it needed a little warmth, a nice little chat with Ma; she is busy now, and informs you in a strikingly angry manner - tea is there, have it with milk. Now you realize, it has been a sleep too deep, two missed call from your cousins, who cannot come tomorrow for bhai-phonta (is there a English for it?). and your father is out of town, so Ma was wanting this evening tea with you - only knowing for fact that such days are counted - in a year or so - you have to make your own tea, and Ma will have tea with herself only.

However, like they say in popular Hindi films, the easiest job in the world is to comfort your mother, but its not your excellent charming character, its her power to absorb little hard things.

Thus you wake up after you wake up, a nice addicting mild headache and with a romantic neck pain, only to know again, you slept without pillows.

We owe so much to our computers, and our internet connection; without it - what would you do ? You hit the space bar and it reveals - facebook is always there, and unfortunately your torrents were seeding for the last few hours. I think we owe it to Mark Zuckerburg too.

Its weird - the life as it is - sudden moments of absolute amazing freshness - but no work to do. Updates and Notifications - of what ? oh why ?

The night draws in with the random blasts of left over crackers to tell you, you are alive , and you wake up after you wake up. . .

Saturday, July 6, 2013


"In general we pay 7 thousands to trainees, but since you have done a lot of 3D s - we are giving you 10" said the lady, principal architect and co owner of the firm.
I started dancing inside. Swiftly my hand touched the envelope and my fingers felt a thick bunch of notes inside it. "Thank You Madam" I said and nodded with a smile.
"We also hope, that you will work with us again." - she added while her hands transitioned the envelope to mine.
"Would love to Madam" - my smile was going beyond my cheeks as I bent over and took the envelope finally.
Slowly I half opened the door and walked back quickly to my room. Before anyone noticed, I quietly put it inside my laptop bag's inner folder. I couldn't stop smiling. Overjoyed inside, it was happiness that wanted to burst out like a flood. I got paid ! finally ! my first earning ever !!! and its a lot of money :D

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Job. Rain. Boredom. A lonely afternoon

Easiest thing in this world is to get bored. And I am so good at easy things.
I got my first job! And that makes me happy :) . well, to be specific, its an internship. But it feels like a real job. I got a chair and a computer. And I also get tea served at my table. And I would also get paid, though I yet not know how much.
Bad thing about the firm where I work, is that you need to be there by 10 am. Well, so long I was habituated to half-wake-up by that time, but now for the last week, I had to full-wake-up by 8 am. And that is really really very very hard thing to do.
But still I like the firm. Its an 'architectural studio' actually.
Today though, being a Sunday, I could afford to sleep till 9 o clock until Ma woke me up and said that if I want fish for lunch then I gotta go and buy it from the bazaar as my father is out of town. And I badly wanted  fish because this whole week I have been eating egg curry at the firm's canteen.
It was so inhumanly humid when I went out. It the humidity that exhausts you, not the heat- or so I think. Whatever it is, I was totally tired when I came back and stood under the shower for half an hour straight.
Sometimes, I remember that I used to sing songs in shower when I was a child. And I miss it. Now I am too grown up, and I can't even sing, not even in shower.
Then it started raining big time. And as if I never saw rain before - I was staring outside to nothing specific. Still. Quiet. Blank.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cosmic Jokes

Pratap is more or less the most boring friend ever in my life. He is a very good person though, and sometimes you need someone as boring as Pratap. He discourages and demotivates you to such an extent that it is useful for you to know how interesting you are as a person and that you feel that urge to remain interesting.
The first thing you feel about him is the fact that he appears to be someone of your uncle's age group. Too grown up, too matured and too guardian-ish for you. And basically, then you realize that you are still a child who never wants to grow up and he is an old man for you.
He comes into my room and lays down on my bed - "turn on the AC - its too hot yaar.. ok....I'll take some rest and then talk, ok? its so hot out there and I am so tired. and also the bus you know - this office time - they are so crowded and this humidity - its so exhausting.... no no - are you mad ? 18 degrees ? 22 - make it 22.. or else I'll catch a cold." And then he closes his eyes for few minutes.
As usual, I am not a person who lets himself get bored so easily. So I turn on the music - some high school punk rock that doesn't let anyone sleep! Nirvana ! and try to be enthusiastic - "hey buddy ! have you heard smells like teen spirit ? it was once my favorite song !" and Pratap says - "oofff!! what the hell is this ? is this guy crazy or what? why is he shouting ? you call this song ? you know, that is why you are always so restless - you listen to such songs all the time. Don't you have something soothing ? " and he sounds exactly like my Aunt who practices classical.
And then Ma brings in some cold drink and we have some usual conversations. And Ma can always be counted upon - after a word or so she brings in the topic of masters study - and Pratap says so confidently - "You see aunty, I don't think I'll do masters right after my graduation. May be I'll work for a year or so. I think it is wise not to go into masters right after graduation. Because what is the point of learning something which may not be interesting for me ? So I would do some job here in Kolkata - no no - I'll not go anywhere else. Why should I ? The money is more or less same in firms over here compared to Delhi. But Delhi is so costly and there is water problems too. Here I can work from my home, na ? And that would be more comfortable. And also with some industrial experience later on it'll be easier for me to get scholarships in foreign universities."
And later on, when he leaves Ma interprets such conversations in a pretty different manner - " See! See your friend ! How dedicated and decided he is! He has such good aims in life. At least he has some work plan. He is so matured. When will you think about what to do after graduation ? Do you have any aim at all ? You are still playing computer games and chatting on facebook! Facebook wont get you a job, mind it! "
and all arguments I come up with is nothing more than - "I'll do it Ma. I'll do it when I need to."
And then we start discussing architecture. I wonder how any person look at architecture the way Pratap does. He always knows everything about it. And hardly there is any element of surprise that surprises him. Me on the other hand - always surfing dozens of websites for all these crazy forms architects do all around the world - makes me go crazy how they think of such things.
And then he starts lecturing - "look, one thing you need to understand my friend, no matter whatever you do in our design studio, the reality is much different. Forget those Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libenskind - they are good to look at ok ? nothing more . Do you even know their structures ? Do you have any idea at all how big those projects are and billions of dollars are invested there. They are not for us. You know I met this architect last week, he is a friend of my father. He is doing this housing project nearby - didn't you see the advertisement in the papers ? a full page color advertisement.  His name was there too. He is getting crores of rupees for such a project. That too from the developer only. And I think he gets incentives from the materials companies as well - yes, my friend yes, the tiling companies pay the architects as well - you didn't know that ? they pay to get such a contract! you know this is business. So I think I'll do some internship in his office from next month. Why don't you join too ? He will like you because you can do so good renderings. My father can talk if you want ... this is the way we should build our networks you know and in some 5-6 years we can build our own firms. And you do such good renderings. Do you do them all in Revit or do you use Max as well ? Can you do night rendering?  You know our senior Sugata da ? He earns in lakhs ! can you imagine ? lakhs ! he does such awesome walk through ! I saw his work that day - you should just see his water- like it totally reflects ! I was also thinking about learning Max . they are giving a discount now and the package includes all the software - cad revit max photoshop......"

Some way in the middle I just keep looking at his face. His words some how seem to go by my sides and I can only see his lips moving. Time freezes around me and I feel that I am sitting here in a cosmos of parody. Why did God play this huge cosmic joke with me ? Then his face goes hazy in my eyes and behind him I can see in my shelf a book with a red-white covered paperback binding. I know this book. Its my book. Its what I feel about what I do. Slowly I get up, swimming through the endless futile stream of words coming out from Pratap's mouth. My hand reaches out for that book and Pratap turns and says - "what is it ? " .
" you never heard of this ? " the first time I get to say something. "This should be there in our curriculum from the beginning, but I think they missed it somehow. - Its a famous book - The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I want you to read this if you can. Why don't you give it a try before you join that firm next month ?"

Sunday, April 28, 2013


originally uploaded by Soumya, the amateur.
Mumbai skyline from Marine Drive
cropped and edited
HDR image (various exposure shots superimposed)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why we need computers

I have experienced from the very first day in this college - a generic negation towards computers in design process. The primary logic behind this is about conceiving scale on a screen, and on a paper, where the former is dynamically changing and the later is static (and thus more conceivable ?)

There is also this motion which says - "computer is just a drafting tool". I think this arises due to the very fact of negligence towards design methods all over the world. 

And further there is this motion which is far more illogical - "First learn to draw a straight line by hand, then touch the computer."

Why ?

Are we just not noticing the naked truth that Descriptive Geometry is a thing of the past ? People are talking in Parametric modelling, Generative algorithms and fractal geometric forms which are being conceived by computers and further fabricated in a digital process. There are no more Euclidean definitions of forms visualized in point, line, plane and volumes which are translations of the previous respectively. It is space conceptualized as an infinitely porous mixture of mass and void existing in what is being referred to as - ordered spontaneity. And to grasp such a geometry - computers are essential.

We have to understand Computer is much much bigger than CAD.

Are we afraid to adapt new things ? Are the avant garde movements of architecture far beyond our reach ?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

perceptions 1

it is strange how perception changes... 3 years back when I was struggling hard to learn software on my own, spending hours before my computer, making a sphere in sketchup was a milestone. I was never into drawing or coloring as such and thus couldn't agree with my seniors who repeatedly said I should work in hand. They did help in learning sketchup , autoCAD, photoshop but always said not to use them for my design. Today I have reached a point, through rigorous practice and learning on my own, a point where I have achieved a reasonable software skill. Now I know which software to choose for what work, how to actually save time using multiple software at once.

But now when I start to think on my design, all I search for is a 6B and a butter paper...

what's more funny is seeing my juniors go through a similar phase, where software appears to be a tool that makes thing easier and faster. I would love to see this being proved wrong and then when people start going back to basics, they would start enjoying the art

Friday, March 29, 2013


Lines, originally uploaded by Soumya, the amateur.

I took this photograph few months back when I was returning from college on a taxi. I remember bribing a police 100 rupees (or fine without a receipt), because I got caught since photography is not allowed on the bridge.
This is the second Hooghly bridge on a cloudy day.
I was feeling blank for the last 24 hours or so. Nothing serious to do. Hangover of something I don't know. Browsing through my backup files I found this picture.

home end page up

really i want to write something. a month full of work - design assignment. then suddenly after final viva- blank- no more nothing . nothing to do all day. its blank . holiday wednesday and friday are holiday. thursday got sandwiched to a holiday. add weekends . 5 days at a stretch. but i dont know what to do. its been a habit to stay awake. all night. BESU does that to you. i am feeling sleepy. but i dont want to sleep. there is no point on staying awake either. its in between. directionless.
i have done 16 different options of this last assignment. redesign of the SS hogg market. 16. i am not emphasizing on the number or anything. hardly matters. that proves nothing. only one fact that my studio  teacher told me - which is true - ' you are confused and you know that' ...
am I ? may be. hardly matters. no it does matter. it did matter actually. I dont know. why I am this confused ?
the whole design process thing doesn't make any sense. our design process has not evolved at all. its unscientific in its very ideology. - that's why the confusion. there are infinite possibilities - but there is only one world - one Earth to breed life on it . why ? blank ! boom! skadoosh !
its not random. its never random. they all have a reason. reasons. millions and millions of uncountable strings of events culminate together to produce one single occurrence of something what we call 'meaning'. meaningfulness - that's the virtue of architecture. It should be meaningful.
rational is too mainstream.
beautification is too childish. immature . streamlined.

thus the process is wrong. its wrong I say it is wrong . totally wrong. fully unequivocally completely wrong wrong wrong.

the basics of what we do is based on the basis of randomness. nothing is random still, but its again irrational. why am i thinking 16 different options ? is my brain nuts ? no. but because there is no method to say. had i been given a little more time I would have done 61 .

I love CFL lights. earlier I hated them. they gave me headaches. now i am used to.
i dont really love them but i am okay with them now.

trial and error is not a method of the developed kind. its baffling. its not meaningful . when u start drawing a plan - no matter how much area programming you do - you still start on a blank sheet with a pencil and the first line you draw is a trial - u see error and you erase it and redraw it. trial and error and trial and error - makes no sense - what it makes is confusion and you know it.

parametricism shall be the new epoch. we should learn it. its meaningful.