So much for me not taking a break from blogging- I didn’t realise how long it has been since I last wrote! In any case, much has happened – that has given me much to write about.
Yesterday I learnt that my favourite architect passed away. The unforgettable Charles Correa, father of Modernist India- who every architecture student across the globe has studied about. My favourite, why?
Well, we shared a few things:
- We both received architectural education in the United States- he was a Michigan alumnus, I’m still studying in Kansas.
- Ethnically speaking , we’re both Goans (Goa was a Portuguese colony, now an Indian state). Correa? D’souza? Portuguese names, alright!
- We both love LOVE Mumbai or rather ‘Bombay’. I was born there; it is my parent’s hometown. His biggest projects lie in Mumbai, in fact he was the chief architect of Navi Mumbai or New Bombay, a planned township of Mumbai.
- But most important of all, I care a great deal about low-cost housing and urbanisation– something Correa was quite the expert in.
It’s sad knowing that I’ll never be able to go and procure his autograph. In fact, it was only last week that I was in Mumbai, surveying its urban fabric for the hopes of starting a Public-Interest Design or Social Impact Design project, when I was able to catch a glimpse of my favourite Correa project- the Kanchenjunga Apartments, as my taxi squeezed through South Mumbai’s unbelievable bottlenecks. Two-storeyed apartments in a distinctive-looking building that forms part of Mumbai skyline- that came up before most of its modern skyscrapers- Kanchenjunga is a stark contrast to its neighbours, and rather looks like a stack of Jenga! KANCHEN-JENGA!
While we’re on the subject of Bombay Goans who were artistically eminent, I guess it’s time to bring up my favourite cartoonist Mario Miranda– who also died; a few years ago. Miranda conjured up beautiful scenes of Mumbai and Goa- some of which are brilliantly recorded on the walls of Cafe Mondegar- which I was able to visit during my brief visit to Bombay. I apologise about the picture quality; I’m always high on life when I’m in Bombay!
But that’s not all. I’ll delve more into my reasons for briefly visiting Mumbai, later. Till then, I must get cracking on packing for my big drive to Dubai tomorrow, for what might just be a new chapter in my life. Tada!