Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Christmas in 2015

Udai’s Christmas was very exciting this year! Check it out…

theamazingud

My Christmas this year was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. My family and I went to visit my mother’s friend’s house. Kimberly is my mama’s friend from work and she with her mother, Jean, and father, Wilson, invited us to their home in Mumbai to celebrate Christmas.

The Noronhas are Catholics and so began my experience of an actual Christmas. My previous Christmas experiences consisted of getting a tree inside the house, going to sleep jumpy on Christmas eve, then waking up on Christmas morning and opening my gifts. This, however was a different experience maybe not so much because of the things I did, but maybe because of the way I did the things and the mood of the event.

These were things we did-

  1. We set up the tree and put a lot of decorations on it. Unlike the tree back home this tree looked extremely good. We also…

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2015 in review, from WP

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Competition Alert! FILM CITY TOWER MUMBAI : BOLLYWOOD RE-IMAGINED

Urban Design Collective

Film city tower_main graphic

archasm invites architects, students, engineers, designers, artists and philosophers to send in their entries for our competition.
Idea based competition
Single stage competition
Team of maximum three members
No professional qualification necessary for eligibility
Teams can be interdisciplinary

Mumbai, or erstwhile Bombay is the largest metropolis of India and an answer to the likes of Shanghai, London or New York. It is the financial capital and trade epicentre of the country, a city of lifestyles and narratives. The ‘Maximum City’ of Bombay is renowned all over the globe for the enormity and surrealism of BOLLYWOOD, which is the nickname given to the Hindi language Film Industry located in the city. The industry has come a long way and bloomed since its inception, to a multi-billion dollar industry, only second in capacity to its American cousin, Hollywood. Bollywood is a goliath in terms of revenue generation and employment, both direct and…

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Congratulations winners! #TheCityasMuse

I’m absolutely delighted to announce the winners of #TheCityasMuse contest. The idea of the contest was to provide a space to express the feelings that we all have for the cities we experience or imagine. All the entries were great efforts at writing and illustrating cities. I played a minuscule rule in judging entries, but the judges were unanimous in selecting the pieces that deserved more credit than others. So without further ado….. here goes!

WINNER

[Prize: Amazon gift coupon worth $100, hard copy of The Heat and Dust Project by Devapriya Roy and Sourav Jha + entry shared as guest post on Rambling in the City]

Rohan Patankar for Notes from B.Town, text and illustrations

RUNNERS’ UP

[Prizes, each: Amazon gift coupon worth $30, hard copy of The Heat and Dust Project by Devapriya Roy and Sourav Jha + entry shared as guest post on Rambling in the City]

Ramesh K for Bohemian in Bangalore, poetry inspired by Ogden Nash

Divya Agrawal for her untitled entry on Jaipur, text and illustrations

Vitasta Raina for Karol Bagh, poetry

Rikhia Pal for A World-Map folded into several layers- Travelogue of the Point I reached, prose

SPECIAL MENTIONS

[Will feature as guest post on Rambling in the City]

Nupur Chaturvedi for Gurgaon, poetry

Ashmi Ahluwalia for her untitled piece of fiction

Devaansh Singh for his untitled fantasy piece

Antara Choudhury for My City, prose

Shweta Sinha for A city fit for Royals, prose

Dear winners, I will be reaching out to you via email to share some feedback and ask for your mailing address in the case of the 5 who get the book. Your prizes will get to you soon.

Dear readers, I hope you enjoy the winning entries. Look forward to your comments and feedback.

FIELD URBANISM [a book review + recommendation]

Really interesting. We need newer ways to think about cities and this seems to be a good way to begin…

{FAVEL issues}

All (urban) fields are (urban) fabrics but not all (urban) fabrics are (urban) fields.

For this post I want to talk about a fascinating book that just came out, Changing Chinese Cities: The Potentials of Field Urbanism. The author, Renee Chow, is not only a Prof. of Architecture at UC Berkeley and Principle at StudioUrbis, but she was my supervisor while I did my graduate studies at Berkeley, and continues to be a mentor and friend. Aside from having a personal relationship with the author and the research done, I have to say, in the most objective way I can, that this book is full of thoughtful analysis, reflecting a new understanding of the potentials of urban fabrics, and more particularly of field urbanisms.

field urbanisms

The book offers case studies, essays, and design explorations (illustrations and diagrams) of Chinese cities to demonstrate how field urbanism can identify the…

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Karachi: The City That Was – 1

More inspiration for those who are still struggling to pen their thoughts for #TheCityasMuse contest! Nostalgia and Karachi….

TheSouthAsianIdea Weblog

By Ahmed Kamran

Yeh laash-e be-kafan Asad-e khasta jaan ki hai
Haq maghfarat kare ajab azad mard tha! (Ghalib)

If Karachi could be likened to a man, with a little liberty taken from Ghalib, this couplet could be a very appropriate epitaph for the tombstone of Karachi, the city that was! This is a series of some musings on the social and cultural aspects of the history of Karachi; how the city’s life was developed and transformed over time. It focuses on the period of 1960s and 1970s when I was young and had many dreams. What was the Karachi that my generation had inherited and what it is today? These writings have a clear ring of nostalgia. Paul Getty said, ‘Nostalgia often leads to idle speculation’. Indeed, nostalgia is distractive, breeds inaction, and, often, depression. But like some sweet-bitter memory of childhood or a sad song or a symphony…

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The life and times of a b**g*r

Of all Udai’s writings, I’ve enjoyed this the most. He really wanted to write about b**g*rs!!

theamazingud

I was born in somebody’s nostrils. A dark, damp place filled with our homes. When I slept I dreamt of light. I thought that my home was peaceful and I would live forever in this place.

But the next day I saw the monstrous thing. It picked up my brother. ‘It’s going to eat him up’, I thought. It flicked my brother on to the carpet. ‘How rude!’ I thought. I found that this monstrous thing or ‘the finger’ won’t leave us alone.

One day I woke up to find myself in the gutter. I stayed there for weeks and weeks. I was saved by water missiles that poured down from the skies. Next day ice and water missiles rained from the skies. I saw a massive strangely shaped giant running. Those missiles must be deadly for him to be in such a hurry.

After some months, the…

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My Ramzan food journey to Matiah Mahal, Jama Masjid

Udai pens down his recent gastronomical journey to Matia Mahal during Ramzan…. Enjoy and yes, your mouth will water!

theamazingud

Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. In this month, every able-bodied man, woman and teenager is supposed to fast. From dawn to sunset nothing is allowed to touch their tongues. After seeing the moon and doing Namaz they can eat whatever they want till sunrise.

A few weeks ago, I went to Old Delhi to try all the various delicacies made during Ramzan. I went by metro with my father’s friend Ruzeveh. The metro was very, very crowded. My father was waiting for me when I got to the Chowri Bazaar metro station. We walked till Jama Masjid and after some time entered Matiah Mahal.

We had seekh kebabs and beef boti at Lalu Kebabee; brain curry, tandoori roti and Nihari at Haji Shabrati; biryani at Tofiq Biryani; mango ice-cream, and kesar milk and Firni  at a shop opposite Karim’s. We drank lassi at Khabo Lassi too. I liked…

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Changing gears: Can the open defecation conversation move beyond subliminal patriarchal messaging?

My co-authored post with Kimberly Noronha on how we need to talk about the ‘real’ stuff when it comes to toilets and open defecation! being stuck at women’s honour has worked only in conjunction with ground level effort. It’s time to change the conversation

CPR Urban blog

By Mukta Naik and Kimberly Noronha, both Senior Researchers at CPR

In today’s fast paced, slogan-driven policy environment, the pressure by the political masters (and indeed, the polity) on the bureaucracy to deliver on promises is enormous. The Prime Minister’s declaration of a “Swachh Bharat” by October 2019, complete with the status of an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India is a commendable goal. But in a scenario of tight deadlines, the temptation is to pluck low hanging fruit, which in this case is women’s dignity and honour.

niti ayog Photo: Creative Commons License

We live in a patriarchal society; we don’t have to like it, but that is a fact. Patriarchal values are structured around women’s position and identity in society relative to men – largely linked to control over women’s sexuality. The protection of women’s dignity is linked to the honour of the household in particular, and the community at large under…

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To localise and humanise India’s urban project

Hard hitting!

Resources Research

Cities and towns have outdated and inadequate master plans that are unable to address the needs of inhabitants. Photo: Rahul Goswami (2013) Cities and towns have outdated and inadequate master plans that are unable to address the needs of inhabitants. Photo: Rahul Goswami (2013)

The occasional journal Agenda (published by the Centre for Communication and Development Studies) has focused on the subject of urban poverty. A collection of articles brings out the connections between population growth, the governance of cities and urban areas, the sub-populations of the ‘poor’ and how they are identified, the responses of the state to urbanisation and urban residents (links at the end of this post).

My contribution to this issue has described how the urbanisation of India project is being executed in the name of the ‘urban poor’. But the urban poor themselves are lost in the debate over methodologies to identify and classify them and the thicket of entitlements, provisions and agencies to facilitate their ‘inclusion’ and ‘empowerment’. I have divided my essay into…

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