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Architecture and Monotony

Architecture - Koodalmanikyam Temple, Irinjalakuda
Old buildings always fascinated me. Though falling apart or primitive, they had a charm that could never be explained. These buildings and monuments had something that soothe us and inspire us. It happened that one day I walked among these buildings and ended up among some newly built structures. The wake up call. Among all the newly built houses just a few had made me comfortable and astonished. The remaining buildings had always been a pain to come across. Huge structures made to impress, but one thing in common with these structures were its soul was missing. While I walked among newly built houses in Kerala most of them were identical in their structure and style of construction. Either modeled similar to that of those traditional houses in Kerala or similar to cubic minimalist buildings. But is it just a copy of a copy of a copy that we are looking for or a place to park our heart and call it our home.

A great problem that the future generations in India will face will be the lack of identity. Diversity is sacrificed and directed towards neutralization and uniformity. Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art. Art is sacrificed for sake of commercialization. Plants are replaced for artificial decorations that enchant the living rooms. Slowly we are replacing energy with plastic. Engineering have evolved and been constantly advancing over the years. But the tragedy is that a huge portion of these engineers are trained by the institutions to think identical. The patterns of imagination is stunned and the new talent is trained to replicate tried and tested structures so as to reduce cost. In this process of mass duplication the identity of a home is lost to the technological soundness of a prison cell. The modern day buildings of Kerala appear to resemble each other so close that the meaning and identity of the building seems to be at stake. Brilliant and uneducated engineers of the past have made mega structures too. Those were unique and comfortable to live in. I walked into a 70 year old house and felt it was air conditioned even if not, because it was constructed to tap in the flow of air. The difference was that the structures were made to touch your heart and not just your wallet. Is it something these qualified engineers lack or is it something wrong with the system of education? The best message that could be passed down to students will be to preserve your identity in midst of the race towards riches and certifications.

It won't be hard to relate this erosion of class and culture with the system of education we have in place. Trained to compete and take minimum risks to maximize income have led to a civilization devoid of art and richness in culture. May be the lack of this richness could answer the tendency of this era that just know to rape than rather to make love. Slowly we find romance disappearing from art and world alike, replacing the warmth of holding hands and sharing a same dream. With each new house coming up with lack of identity and imagination, a civilization is forced into monotony and into the grips of a copy paste era. With even interiors looking and decorated the same it is a fact that we have even less time to dedicate for our lives. An age when all are busy enough to make a house and lazy enough to make a home out of it depicts the cultural erosion that we are facing. Let there be uniqueness in each brick we place so that we can boast of a home that is imperfect but a sanctuary to evolve our lives from. Let each one's home be their castle to nestle their memories and love.


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