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Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
Architecture & Poetry
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Architecture & Poetry

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SERIES OF POEMS ON ARCHITECTURE BY KIRAN KALAMDANI

SERIES OF POEMS ON ARCHITECTURE BY KIRAN KALAMDANI

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  • 1. KIRAN KALAMDANI
  • 2. “Every great architect is – necessarily – agreat poet. He must be a great originalinterpreter of his time, his day, his age.”
  • 3. Wright’s honest arrogance was best expressed in Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’, which he admired and based his life upon. “Going where I list, my own master, total absolute, listening to others, considering what theysay, pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, gently, but withundeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me. I inhale great draughts of space. The east and west are mine, and the north and south are mine … Beware of the moral ripening of nature. Beware what precedes the decay of the ruggedness of states of men Beware of civilization”
  • 4. PROLOGUEUrban space in pre-industrial Indian cities is characterised by traumatic transitions. Living patterns are torn between changing social orders reflecting in transitional life support systems and the omnipresent cultural continuum.A rich mix of myth, religion, history and heritage seem to be fighting a loosing battle with overcrowding, poverty, pollution, traffic jams and thoughtless renewal. It might be a long time before the Indian urbanite comes to terms with the machine. Meanwhile the election-crazy politician and his puppet bureaucrat are busy building monuments to themselves in urban space. Their stepbrother, the corporate executive ishappy with cosmetic surgery or monumental disasters. The well-meaning bureaucrat and the well-intentioned politician are too often silenced. It is high time the man at the receiving end wakes up to his impending doom and forges the path to his own salvation. Revitalizing Shaniwar Wada and its environs is but one step in this long and treacherous journey. Kiran Kalamdani, Feb.’ 91.
  • 5. During V.P.Singhs visit in 1990 The firstperformance in July2000 afterimplementation –Phase I
  • 6. Quiet flows the Godavari at Gangapur Unsuspecting and Innocent, Inspiring poet and painter, Into the City of Nine Shikhas It is Witness to the myths, the tirthas, the scent of man over the millennia Serene and silent at Someshwar It then thunders with a violence, cutting rock and fuming In premonition of the debacle ahead Cutting a wavy course through farmlands and historic sites It arrives at Sunder Narayan to witness the spectacle, The vast cauldron of Man and Myth, churning for salvation across the centuriesThrough Kunds and Furrows, Ghats and Gates, along markets and below bridges, It shrinks and swivels To make space for God and Man Aruna-Varuna, Medha-Shraddha, Gayatri-Saraswati, Sister rivulets long-lost and forgotten, now mere sewers awaiting salvation, The Gods sit silent in their magnificent and crumbling stone edifices, while men continue their bizarre rituals of ravages of the Godavari Washing sin and soil, before death and after. Abused and deceived, she leaves the Holy Sites
  • 7. The Kumbh Mela of 1991 – Maharashtra’s most important city that relates to thereligious geography of India (photo Kishor Ahirao)
  • 8. TRAGIC TALE OF GODAVARI Gloomy and Dark, With little hope and much despair, Once again at Tapovan she dashes through deep chasms, Billowing clouds of surf and stench,Wishing the Shurpanakha without a nose was a universal condition, the Kapila meeting to console the dark caves of Lakshmana mourning the tragedy Further on at Takli, forlorn sits the Ramdas SamadhiCasting aspersions on ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ and national resurrection Uneasy flows the Nasardi, equally disillusioned with Humanity the two sisters meeting quietly to continue their tragic journey of neglect, abuse and uncertainty. Kiran Kalamdani, Oct. 10, 1996
  • 9. I am the G.P.O. – Pune, A modest heritage cousin, Of sixty others across the subcontinent A legacy of colonialism, Of bureaucracy, ad-hocism and discontent I sit in the city centre, In a Heritage Ambience With scars of time, wind and rain Beating me with a Vengeance I reveal debts to Palladio, To the Colonizers and the VernacularTo tireless stonecutters incognito
  • 10. SWAN SONG I look back at my past. The elephants and horses, Now forgotten stones alas. My present lies abused. Leaking, overcrowded and over-used. I look forward to E-mail and Electronica. Helping people communicate, Remains my Swan Song to Eternia. Hoping my conservation, Urges an era of care and cure. A balance of my past, present and future Of nurturing legacies and carrying them gracefully To the oncoming Century! Kiran Kalamdani, 1994
  • 11. POxacI c`c` Mh`je kay te phav..p/šK3Is p/šK3Is Mh`je kay AašfIs 0kda calvun Ast. phav. trI 0kda k=n .Pa3Rnrixp navaca 2o.Da.p/Ty9at vaStu ]waraycI phav. payavr paDun Mh`je kay Ast. b6av 0kda .Kla0.3cI qrqr phavI 0kda ba.2un 0ekun.nkaxa kxasa#I lagto phav. .3šKsce p` hPte pahu 0kda sa{3vr ja}n w=n.0S3Ime3ce kse bara vajtat .dus–ya.nI keleLya cuka.pa{ mjle phave c!vun AorDa 0kda pahu qa}n.iD3eil.gca kay bo–ya hoto .hatatl. kam gel. kI kay hot. b6av. 4apI hatat 6e}n phav 0kda sosun.kapoRrexnCya la{nIt phav. .keleLya kamaca &ey dus– 0kda 4a.bun yala im;alel. Paahu k2I.lac, SpIDmnI, peprve3 idva;I pcvun Mh`je iktI te trI pahu .rojcI mšc Astana yala.tare vrcI ksrt k=n vaDg. p/šK3Is ka Mh`tat b6u trI phav. ifrvun 0kda k=n. ikr` klmdanI
  • 12. Practice…Practice…what is it lets try it, let us indulge in the Let’s know what it is to set up office with no money to spare, What it is like to have lots of work & no help, or little work and agony & ecstasy of it, too many hands to share,Enough of classrooms, submissions, imaginary Or being paid at long last your dues that were yours with no one projects, hypotheses and design ‘crits’, to share! Let’s get into partnerships that are difficult to bear, or ones withWhat is it like to actually get a building built? friends who care,What is the use of a drawing? Let’s go to the site and find Let’s form consortiums, joint out, ventures, companies, trusts, foundations that then make us swear,What is the role, status, image & value of an architect in a Let us collaborate with fellow professionals to see how a project real world, day in and day out? fares, Structural, electrical, acoustic, ventilation, interiors, landscapeWhat happens to an estimate, tender, lets add storeys to a experts to hire you would dare, building and find out, Complaints, criticism, suggestions, unwarranted intrusions, let usWhether there is God or the Devil in the detail lets dig it out, learn to bear, What is the exact meaning of success that happens inLet’s que up in the local authority to know the meaning of private, and failure that is in public glare, sanctions, nocs, bribes, paperweights, speed-money What is a tax burden at the end of a year? and Diwali, What is an assessment, inquiry, audit, advance tax, professional tax let us be clear,Explore the maze of What happens when someone else makes a mistake whose contacts, contracts, liaisons, agreements and blame you have to share? undertakings When some one else takes away your work how hard it is to bear, What is it like when someone else takes the credit that was yoursLets walk the tightrope walk and take the begging bowl to share, around, Why is it called a Practice when it is a match everyday, and it is your soul that takes the wear and tear!?Experience the frustrations of bills, compensations, competitions, reimbursements Kiran Kalamdani December 26, 2008 and returns,The triumphs of awards, adulation, appreciation, admiration and recognition!
  • 13. O quiet courtyard, O timeless courtyard How many virtues you behold You are cool, you are bright You are safety incarnate at night With strong walls around You are a child’s playground You are festive, you are active With trees and plants, fountains and pools, You are cool-evaporative. You are a space within a space To the ensemble you lend graceIntroverted, ornamented, colonaded, ar caded, Your types are many-facetedThe ‘haveli’ is yours, the ‘wada’ is yours,
  • 14. The ‘gadhi’, townhouse, ‘mandir’, masjid , all are yours, You are omnipresent, ubiquitous You cut across regions-humid and aridYou are indeed the priceless inheritance of the tropics You may be round, you may be square But of senseless planners you beware How much life you nurture, How many lives you nourish, In future we hope you won’t perish, Long live the courtyardO quiet courtyard, O timeless courtyard Kiran Kalamdani, Narakchaturdashi, Nov. 2, 1994
  • 15. Are you Commodity firmness and Delight,Are you Agony and ecstasy? or ‘Magnificent Volumes in Light’?Are you real or a fantasy? Are you the churning of climate andAre you the ‘Holy trinity’? culture,A process or a product Prima Donna, Partnership or JointConscious or Spontaneous, Art or Venture? Craft? Structure or Space, Economy or extravagance?Do you embrace form or function? Are you Simplicity and honesty,“Complexity or Contradiction”? Or of Time yet another travesty?Are you ‘less’, are you ‘more’But certainly not a ‘bore’? Oh Architecture, Mother of All Arts,Of society are you a Mirror or a mould? Machine for living and ‘InvisibleRepository of Memories and Miseries fountain’ untold? from which all rhythms flow beyondAre you ‘Silence’ or are you ‘Sound’? time and infinity.Frozen Music, Figure or Ground?Are you Poetry or Prose, KIRAN KALAMDANI‘Symbol or Social Purpose’?
  • 16. Three weavers in a nest,Weaving together a dream in right earnestIn unity is strength, support and securityBut also a compromise rooted in amityEach one free to explore his worldBut with a common responsibilityBeyond the marriage of convenienceInto a partnership of sharing and harmonyKiran Kalamdani, Oct. 22, 1998
  • 17. Oh colourful horizon between sun- up and sun-downOh meeting of earth and skyYou are the consummation of aspiration and abilityNudging me onward on an endless journeyIn search of new horizonsWhen I’m sure I have reached you just,You open up another world, another sky, another horizonKiran Kalamdani, Oct. 22, 1998

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