Monday, 22 February 2010

Fatehpur Gurgaon


So, last night in the Vaatika, we meet an English guy

Who teaches Architecture and Urban Planning in L.A.

And he says there’s a new zone outside Delhi

Called Gurgaon

Like Hitec City outside Hyderabad

A spanking new 21st Century construction of glass and light

Of Malls and Offices

Perhaps the Indians think their old cities are irredeemable so the best thing to do is start completely anew

Except they haven’t connected it to the main sewers

And the water doesn’t always run

And the ground beneath the flashy blocks is simply soil and stone and the usual rubbish

And I wonder if its like Fatehpur Sikri outside Agra

The fabulous palace complex

And capitol

Built by Akbar the Great

[he of Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence]

In the late 1500s

But where after 15 years building, and vast vast expense, Fatehpur was abandoned

after 14 years

Because there was no water

No-one had thought to check the water table

And some think Akbar one of the wisest men who ever lived

But he looks like a major league twat to me

And his great construction one of the

Earth’s greatest follies

What a plonker!

To waste all that effort and money

All that labour

All that taxation extorted from the hungry at the end of a sharp sword-tip

On something so ingloriously useless

Its not comedy its tragedy

Well I don’t know what the great architectural blunders of human history are

But that would be near the top of the list

What a jerk!

But the point is

Are the Indians doing it again in Gurgaon?

And as I’ve never heard of anyone else making this big a mistake

… the water might run out, of course, for any city

It happened to some Pueblos in New Mexico way back when

But in Fatehpur Sikri there was never enough water to start with

So what this makes me wonder is

Because you’ve done something before

Good or bad

Are you much likelier to do it again?

And all those countries which never committed such a colossal blunder

Are they far less likely to do it than the Indians…?

It makes you think huh?

Does me …



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