KochiKadhakal2

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#KochiKadhakal is getting revamped.

Its Thesis time. And if you are an architecture student or have someone close who is one, then you will understand how much of a stressful period these six months are for them. From digging up a topic to proving its feasibility to trying to learn and then to implement all that one has learnt and is still trying to learn to finally getting a project done, all alone.

We have thesis in our tenth semester. The final semester. From the time the ninth sem started our teachers have been bugging us about finding a topic that one is interested to do as a thesis. Its been a blankness since then for most of us. After a very stressful two months in finding a standing with our topic, most of us have settled with a project (more or less), and that’s where I am going back to Kochi. To the city I fell in love with. To the city that helped me find peace amidst its chaos. For my thesis. For the culmination of my architecture student life.

Here is another edition of KochiKadhakal. More like a chronicle of my thesis. Because my thoughts need a place to talk. And people around me are immersed in their own.

I dont know how far I will be able to take this. But I hope I keep it till the end.

For the sake of my sanity.

Bismillahirahmaniraheem.

(To all those who do not know, KochiKadhakal was a series of sketches and photographs that I posted during the period of my internship in Kochi in 2016. It was just parts of the city that was special to me)

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#MayRants – 170505

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Houses of Goa on papers today.

2 years back, during my trip from college to Goa, I remember standing here in front of this peculiar structure made of laterite in the middle of a crossroad, heart heavy, when we realised we couldn’t go in. Then we fooled around the area clicking external pictures of the structure and trying to snap some internal pictures of the Nisha Play school which is as interesting a structure as this, through its openings. That day, we had decided we would come back here again. For a case study which happened in Pondicherry instead.

But here I am, today, taking in the sheer beauty of one man’s illustrated tribute to the Indo-Portugese Architecture of Goa. Houses of Goa, is a unique museum which documents and showcases the houses in Goa which are a prime expression of the Goan identity. Built as a traffic island, resembling a ship, with the Nisha Play school to one side and the Architect, Gerard De Cunha’s office which looks like it has come straight out of a Mario Miranda postcard on other side, contributing to its wholeness.

Another day, I shall swim in this museum’s internal depths. In sha allah! Because this opens only at 10, and I have to get to the office now. Time and time, I have to remind myself how I have come to Goa as an intern and not a traveller.

 

#NotATraveller #StillAnIntern

#LifeOfAnArchitectureStudent

#GoanGaana

#MayRants – 170504

So today, I don’t have any sketch.
But I have a smile on my face.
I woke up today, irritated with myself for wasting away today morning and yesterday morning, missing my morning walks. I had promised myself I would make the best use of the last month and I myself had broken it. And that irritation stayed with me for most of the day, even at office, until my Sir said the golden words, ‘Let’s go to the beach, chalo! ‘

I jumped away from my laptop, packed all of my stuff and off we went to the beach. Candolim. Nothing could douse my mood today, not even a guy in a scooter ramming into me when we were taking a turn on our scooter. It was about 5 and the sky was beautifully heavy with clouds, hiding away the sun.

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Single sight at the crashing waves, I stilled. The water had a little green tint to it to my left side, and on the right, it was glittering in gold basking in the sun’s rays.

Beaches in Goa are something else, I tell you. And these are the North ones. I have heard the south ones are so much more prettier and I have only been to Colva beach down South.

The evening flew, playing with the waves, feeling the ground slip away from under my feet, watching the colours of the beach, the people playing cricket, building sandhouses, the dolphins jumping about in the depths of the waves (I dunno if I saw one, I am never sure of these things, but my colleagues did) and having a good enough conversation after so long. What more did I want? Nothing. Nothing at all.
The day concluded with snacking at the Saligao Circle listening to my architects talk about pioneers in the field in the most casual of settings. And that’s when I realised how blessed I am to be here.

Allah has different ways of blessing you. Think about it. The very situation you are in, which you might think is bad, might not actually be in the long run. Or it could be, but eventually everything is a learning experience. This is what makes life so beautiful. All sorrows and joys. All regrets and satisfactions. All loneness and companies. All smiles and tears. All successes and mistakes.

Breathe.
Life is beautiful.
Alhamdulillah.

#MayRants – 170502

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It’s a shame that 4 months have passed since I have landed in Goa. So in order to save myself from swimming in the depths of regret of not seeing Goa enough once I go back, I had decided I would put my last month, to good use, see places that I had wanted to see. Maybe lock away a piece of them for me in my little sketchbook.

So as decided, today I battled with my bed, got up and started with a little morning walk around my area. Beautiful Sucoor. Birds chirping, dogs barking (which did give me a little trouble), I walked towards the beautiful Jain temple near our place for a perfect start.  Clad in white marble, I remember going into the temple with Neeru, a few months back, when I was still new in Goa. The play of light, on the Petra dura floors, the intricacy of designs was just mind blowing, quite typical of Jain temples. The place smelled of the incense sticks and I watched people going in and out from the temple, for a long time. I listened to them sing hymns. I just watched, listened and sketched.

And it was beautiful.

Sea of pain

Sea of Pain 1

After calculating the hours that would take me to reach Kochi from Goa, I realized I would not be able to take that big a chunk of time from my trip home. Sighing away, with my insides twisting with an unknown pain, I started sketching away, then turned to look at the pictures and videos of the one installation that I wanted to see, to experience and to sink in deep within me, in this year’s Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

I closed my eyes. I could see myself standing underneath one of the huge canvas boards on the wall. I could listen to the sound of water, of legs wading, of people whispering, of the conflicts within minds. I could see the crashing waves, washing in bodies, of Aylan, of Galip. I could see the sea swallowing many more unknown faces, unknown hearts that beat for a better future. I could feel the pain in the water that washed my legs. I could feel the sea.

“The sea of pain.
For Galip Kurdi

Alan Kurdi was three and his photograph circled the world.

He lay face down and the blue red of his clothes was striking
in its strange tidiness on the shore. Hours later the Turkish
coast guards recuperated the bodies of his mother and small
Five-year old brother, Galip, but of him there are no photographs.
….

… I wasn’t there,
I am not his father.
There are no photographs of Galip Kurdi, he can’t hear, he can’t see, he can’t feel, and the silence comes down like immense white cloths.
Below the silence you can make out a piece of sea, of the sea of pain.
I am not his father, but Galip Kurdi is my son. ”

The words of the poet.

The sea of pain.

Something startled me awake. And I watched the waves that kept on crashing in and out. The sun setting in the horizon. The stars starting to shine,and I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if the stars would have been the last thing they saw when they drowned. The stars and the sea. Depths of blue. Grasping for a hand to save. Shouting for help. The blue shutting it all out. The life ebbing away from their eyes, to the depths of the dark. Their bodies washing in, to a rising sun and a rising world.

Millions of hearts still cry for help.
And a few hearts still cry for them.

Please, hold on, at the end of the day, the dark clouds shall move away, and the stars will shine. The stars, will shine.
Please.
Hold on.

-This is for Syria, Palestine, Myanmar and many more across the world, who have lost and still lose their lives at the hands of politics, power and greed.

Conspiracy

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It’s been 9 months since I have been interning. First in Kochi, now in Goa. 9 months of exploration. New places, new people, new experiences.

But you know what has been reoccurring all these 9 months? Art. In the weirdest of ways.

I used to be a pretty good one at art when I was little. I still have memories of my dad, teaching me how to draw an elephant and a lotus, telling me his stories about art. He would never have imagined his eldest daughter to pick art (read architecture), for a profession out of all the trades of which she was master of none.

Then college happened. 3 years where everything was undermined. The heart was told that you weren’t good enough. It fought in the beginning, but then gradually fell away into despairs of self doubt.

With the commencement of 4th year, I moved to Kochi. Away from everything. And guess what? Life kept throwing me into art. I met a girl who told me she was an artist. in the mornings, when I was about to go to office I would see her, with a bandana on her head, playing with colors. I stared at it from a distance. I listened to my heart beat. That weekend, I went home and brought back a sketchbook which was about an year old, but the pages pristine. I started with sticking the little things that I collected – train tickets, roses and abstractions. One day I went to Fort Kochi, walked it’s paths for the first time, experienced it’s charms, just took it all in. But it was too much for my little heart, that night I sketched away the beautiful memories, and slept in peace knowing that I had locked them away. Knowing that they would now, never fade away. That was the beginning of Kochi Kadhakal. The beginning of so many beautiful stories.

6 months later, Goa happened. And I still find myself experiencing art in ways that at times take my breath away.

For the first time, I find myself believing the words of Paulo Coelho,

And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. 

 

I do not know what I want, but now I very well know that the universe is conspiring for something beautiful.

 

Time

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It’s been 2 years.

2 years ago, I remember walking down this way, taking in the beauty of the Mandovi, the simplicity of the lighthouse and the greens, complimenting the cultural hub of Goa, Kala Academy, one of the masterpieces of the architect Charles Correa.

We were then, 2 years into being students of the vastness called Architecture, laughing our hearts away, clicking endlessly fake candids exploiting the beauty around us.

Who knew, 2 years later, I would stand at this very spot, in the very clothes, looking away into the Mandovi, miles away from those people, reminiscing about these moments?

This time, is a funny thing.
It takes you to places, puts you in situations, make you experience things that you never even dreamt of.

Maybe another two years down the lane, I may have something more interesting and intriguing to share. Well, who knows?

May I have the good fortune to do so. In Sha Allah.