Oliver Twist : Visualizing the story

Do critique it.

The idea: A sad boy and his twisted life, which he is trying really hard to push it in the past.

Being Blind : A study in designing for the Disabled

The universal design module was conducted by Prof S Balaram at NID.

As part of this module we researched about people who are differently abled,  and find the problems they face in their daily lives. Products are generally designed in such a way that they don’t target this audience which is differently abled. There are very few designs that cater to this audience. This course helped us understand how evolutionary design can be implemented to allow a product to be used by a larger audience. Universal design as the name suggests is designing for a larger audience in such a way that differences can be destroyed.

I stayed blind folded for  one whole day and did all that I could in that state. Being a Lefthander already put me in a spot where I could call myself disabled and in the past I have given the pleasure to common everyday objects like pens, notebooks, microwave ovens, scissors to brand me as a bad workman but being blind and using any of these products was a herculean task.

To start with, moving a little towards the left was  taking a left turn was a left at 90 degrees. The stick that I held at all times became an extension of my arm and was the only way I could find my way around.eg.  Getting to the water cooler was a big challenge.  At NID the water cooler leaks and the area near the water cooler is always wet. Somehow I was searching for this wet texture on the floor. To my surprise, on this particular day, the cooler fixed. I was lost and thirsty.

Another thing that I realized during this assignment was how my  other senses took over the moment one was shut down. My sense of hearing and figuring  where who was became very acute. Overall, it  was a great experience and what followed was even more exciting. We had to pick up a few of these daily use products and “universalize” them.

I picked up the standard scissors, microwave oven, the classic exam chair and an ordinary vessel. We had to adopt an evolutionary design process  where we had to make minimum changes to the existing products so that it is usable to a larger audience.

More to come.

Is it Indian At All ? Phir Mile Sur, A Critical Opinion

As a kid I remember I could sing in 15 languages, understand that in the same country I lived, there was a woman, who dint wear the Saree the same way my mother wore it, was amazed by the fact that there can be so many musical instruments. As I grew up, the same song taught me some subtle concepts of Unity, Diversity, Differences and most importantly how although with these differences, we were still a single country.

The whole concept of kids running and making the Indian flag was so captivating that my mom reminds me that I, in my bear essentials, ran singing this very song with a plantain leaf as a my fluttering tricolour  flag. This song captured the hearts of all Indians in one stroke, taught them all that the constiution speaks of, gave the underprivileged ones who could not travel a glimpse of the beautiful Country we live in. this song Mille Sur Mera Thumara was nothing but a well designed piece of Art.

Why a new one then ? My mind does not stop asking me this. What ever went wrong with the old one ? During the days when we dint have internet, I would wait watching Doordarshan just to get glimpses of what I experienced as a kid. On the local trains every time I heard this tune announce a call, I never missed those few, but regular smiling faces. What was wrong with the old one ( as much as I hate calling it that!) that a decision to make a newer one seemed necessary ? I cant figure it out.

The new one ( gosh!) does no of the things the old one did. It speaks not of Uniting the country but is a showcase of the so called beauties India is produced. No doubt they are beautiful but their beauty can never be compared to the “true Beauty” of the old one. Indian Culture which we are so heavily trying to smoke out thinking the honey lies in “westernizing” things. The new one has tried so hard to kill patriotism and in my opinion has succeeded very well in doing so.

I remember this one time while I was travelling, a foreigner asked me if it was possible to experience all of India in a single lifetime. To that my only answer was to watch this clip and his understanding of this phenomenon called India would be a little more clear. This older one was perhaps the only piece that one could show to a foreign audience, explain to them what Living a life so tied with culture meant.

The new one is perhaps the greatest disgrace, a black mark on what India truly is.  Lets not get into asking what kind of an audience Zoom caters to.

The original one.

you can find the link to the new one here.

Republic Day : Redesigning the Nation

the speech I wrote for the Republic day celebrations at NID R & D Campus. Inspired by speeches of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Charlie Chaplin.

Indian Army Madras regiment

The Madras regiment of the Indian Army

“Our Difficulties are not about India’s Ultimate future but, how to make the Heterogeneous mass, that we have today, to take a decision in common and march in a cooperative way, on that path, which will ultimately lead us to Unity”.

These were the statements made by Dr. B. R Ambadekar, the architect, of what to a common man is the doctrine of Free will. The Constution of India. One book which unites all differences that exist in this country. It is this thought of uniting India that is celebrated on the 26th Jan every year. India was declared a Sovereign republic 3 years after her Independence.

At this juncture it is important to understand what a  republic means.

That government where the head of the state is not a Monarch is a Republic.

The constitution of India gave a nascent nation the right to breathe free, a right to think aloud and the birth right of a free nation, a nation that was struggling to find its place. To some it was a boon that marked the start of a new thought, and some believed that it was being over-ambitious,  rejecting the formalized rule set by the British Raj.

Rewriting this doctrine was perhaps the greatest design adventures any Indian could have taken. The difficulties were not with regard to the ultimate ambition but the beginning. India with its diverse sections would require planning at a great scale. A scale none of us can ever imagine.

The constution was the promise of a new nation. A decent nation where a man could work and live a life of old age in security. But, brutes have risen to power and have become dictators. Men who crave only for power, converting the nation into a greed pool. This craving for power has proved to be an enemy of unity which is at the heart of the Indian Constution.

Let us fight for the Nation that the Doctrine promised.  Let us leave behind slogans, words intended to scare people, forgive our internal opponents and find a means so that they are willing to join us, on this path, which if we walk long enough, will lead us to unity.

Shadows during the Solar Eclipse

Louis Kahn on Material

“To express is to drive.
And when you want to give something presence,
you have to consult nature.
And there is where Design comes in.

And if you think of Brick, for instance,
and you say to Brick,
“What do you want Brick?”
And Brick says to you
“I like an Arch.”
And if you say to Brick
“Look, arches are expensive,
and I can use a concrete lentil over you.
What do you think of that?”
“Brick?”
Brick says:
“… I like an Arch””
-Louis Kahn

H.M.T. Pilot

I love my H.M.T. pilot manual tuning watch. It ticks like the heart of a healthy man. Unlike other watches which need a pacemaker to keep them going.