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Three guys, half moon and a concrete behemoth

The effect of frenzied construction activity in Bangalore is more pronounced in certain parts of the cities than other. I live in a locality where you can still find beautiful little villas dating back to our colonial past. In fact, barring the “cross” streets, even the names of the streets here bear a testimony to the city’s British legacy. Unfortunately, the exponential rise in demand for affordable (which is always a relative word) housing has meant that the owners of these beautiful colonial bungalows are under tremendous pressure (mostly monetary) to sell out. Over the last 20 months of so that I’ve spent in Bangalore, I’ve seen numerous of these quaint houses torn down to make room for tall concrete apartment complexes (ironically, I live in one of these ‘affordable’ commodity apartments myself). The few days between the time when the original owner sells moves out and the time when the construction workers take over are the most poignant for someone who has walked past these houses regularly. Verdant lawns witnessing their last spring, old lush trees; that if not chopped off right away, will either be mutilated or murdered systematically, rickety letter box nailed to the wooden entrance door, and of course the empty house itself waiting to be demolished insouciantly all contribute to a sense of foreboding melancholy.

Very few of these houses still remain – most of them are in various stages of dilapidation, reflecting sadly on fiscal inadequacies of their once wealthy owners; who would give into a lucrative offer any day. Others stand unoccupied in a state of total neglect. – a litigation is usually the only thing that stands between them and their new owners. With their gardens gone awry with attack of weeds, these ravaged houses look almost surreal; as if they were just strokes of an impressionist painter.

Here is a picture of an upcoming concrete complex that I took one Sunday afternoon. I think there is something menacing and yet frighteningly beautiful about it. Verbosely title: ‘Three guys, half moon and a concrete behemoth’.

P.S. I am unable to decide whether the color version looks better or the greyscale one, what do you think?

posted: 6.7.04


The one in grey scale looks rather intimidating...makes me think of some prison where ppl are waiting for execution..shudder!

The architect needs to revamp his designs..not very appealing facade! i defi wouldn't buy anything in that bldg!

By Blogger Geetanjali, at 7.7.04  

The colour version definitely.

By Blogger Avis, at 8.7.04  

I will go with the color version. Somehow the "behemoth" feel is more evident here.

Side note, what the hell is it suppose to be...a roman gladiator stadium?

By Blogger kawaljit, at 12.7.04  

Hey Geetanjali,

I did find the facade intimidating/appaling but didn't let my thoughts go beyond that... Now that you mention, it does bring to mind Ministy of Love from Orwell's 1984!

By Blogger Deepak, at 13.7.04  

Hi Avis, I am still as undecided :-)

By Blogger Deepak, at 13.7.04  

Hey Kawaljit, That's a really nice perspective on the facade - the colosseum of Rome idea never crossed me!

By Blogger Deepak, at 13.7.04  

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