Sunday, June 6, 2010

The "CHANGE" that follows us !!!

How things around change is a very constant surprise we get as we grow old. My visit to my place where I always felt I belonged to, "MANIPAL .." was so different. I'm glad that memories we have don't change. It was an irony after this visit that I had only unchanged memory with me.

I strongly believe that everything around happens for a reason. People change so that you can let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they are right, you believe lies so that eventually you learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. This is what Manipal taught me.

The walk through the corridors was always filled with the anxiety before any submissions, satisfaction of finishing work, celebration of friendships, crys of mess ups, this time it was just a walk of being proud. Proud of what the place made me grow into.

The change that has evolved to this place which I am not happy about, is a result of making the place look glorious with rich materials and fantasizing it to the materialistic world. It felt funny you learn that red oxide flooring and tile roof helps in a humid climate. but we changed the flooring to vitrified tile and RCC roof to make you feel how its to be in oven or may be I should say an expensive oven. The land of laterite stone was cladded with bricks for some joy. And we still appreciate when we read that Frank Lloyd Wright said "A building is not on the site but of the site".

Whats forgotten is students have been literate by studying at Gurukul. Its not the materials that makes a good student smart. Its the way how a student relates and grows with whats taught and what he experiences around.
Who takes the resposible for right change ?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Adalaj vav

""A monument showing differenc
e between construction and creation.""

My visit
To the Vav in Adalaj was during my case studies in Ahmedabad.
I and my friend Abi
took a local cab till the village around 19 km travel and then a walk to the Vav. The village street spread on the path adds a flavor to the entire set up. The chaos between the shops and houses form a composite Indian village.
The first glimpse to this legendary structure was mystifying.

The entry
To the Vav slowly opened us the architecture sensation, made of carved red sand stone.

Vav or the step wells are one among those ancient concepts which proves the science and engineering skills of those times. Step well concept developed towards the western side of India, one of the reasons for this, I feel is climate. The hot and dry climate might have lead for such a concept to be developed, around the wells.

The usual centre shaft of a well was surrounded by inclined subterranean passageways, chambers and steps, which provided access to the well. The galleries and chambers surrounding these wells were carved generously, which became cool retreats during summers.

Both the above picture

Walls of step wells were lined with blocks of stone, without mortar, and created stairs leading to the water.

This picture on right was taken in 18th century when this vav functioned, can see the village woman carrying water in matakas.

As I walked down

The air inside was much cooler than the outside, I wonder what great retreat it gave to the long way passengers (ages before), who rested in the galleries taking break from the travel. It was fun to shuffle between the galleries, with parrots and pigeon playing in-between the carving, and the jharokhas, tried to click this, not a great capture though.

A view of the galleries

With clicking of few snaps I and Abhi went down, but were not really happy it wasn’t maintained, to be frank there was nothing called “maintaince”, the water down the last level was green filled with flies. Below are few snap shots showing the heights of negligence our government shows to restore such beautiful structure.

The lower most level where water is collected

The most interesting story

Later I got to know the story or call it a history behind the beautiful structure of its

kind.The legend behind the origin of this step-well is as interesting as its architecture and is shrouded in beauty, romance and tragedy. In AD 1499, the area around Adlaj was known as Dandai Desh and was ruled by Rana Veer Singh of the Vaghela dynasty. Around this time, Mohammed Begda, a Muslim ruler of a neighboring state attacked Dandai Desh and killed Rana Veer Singh. The beauty of the slain king's widow, Rani Roopba, enamored Mohammed Begda who sent her a proposal of marriage. The heartbroken but determined queen agreed to the proposal on the condition that he completes a five-storied step-well (Vav) for her. The Muslim ruler, enticed by the charm of the queen, readily agreed.

The construction of this well had begun years ago under Rana Veer Singh but had to be stopped later. Begda resumed this project with great enthusiasm and got the well completed in
record time. Hence we saw an influence of Islamic Architecture on the carvings.

The picture below has carvings of animals and floral patterns,
A combination of Hindu and Islamic Architecture.

. When this five-storied edifice was completed but for the dome, Begda renewed his proposal. The next day, Roopba took a round of the well and saying a final prayer, flung herself into the water and drowned.

above pictures shows the 5 storey around the well and the top most storey at ground level.

As the saying goes:

"Freedom has a price, and it is high. Sometimes a man must give all he can, sometimes a man must die."

Author: Doug Stewart

Mohammed Begda immediately stopped further construction but did not get the monument demolished probably because Roopba had employed Muslim masons who had decorated it with Islamic motifs. The incidents, which led to the erection of this unique well, are detailed on the walls and pillars of the Vav in Sanskrit and Pali.

Sadly I cud not figure out, these inscriptions there. Lack of observation skill I guess, one thing I learnt is better to get updated with all the details possible before visiting any structure of its kind. Specially the history, which actually gives one the real life inside a monument like this.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

After A While
Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't always promises
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up
and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to
bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong
and you really do haveworth and you learn and you learn
with every good-bye you learn.