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Architecture Life and Me
Architecture Life and Me
Description
Foreword

When I asked the legendary Dr Mulk Raj Anand to write a foreword for my anthology of poems-Psychic Shadows, published in 1991, he replied in his letter dated 23 June 1990 from Bombay:

Dear Young poet :

I do not like writing forewords. Such words before a book by a new writer are likely to seem patronizing! So I always add afterwords.

Even these would not have been necessary, if I had not read your introduction and preface.

Sangeet Sharma's request to me to write a foreword for his book Architecture, Life and Me made me sit up, recollect, and contemplate Dr Anand's marvelous words. After much cogitation, I figured out that there is another side to a foreword. It needn't always be a marketing ploy for a new writer's book. When done dispassionately, a foreword may well be an insightful preview of such a work, evocative enough to persuade others to give it the serious attention that it deserves.

I have known Sangeet Sharma ever since he was a young child. To this comes my knowledge of his illustrious parents, at SD Sharma and Mrs Geeta Sharma, whose personal acquaintance I made way back in 1961. A more active understanding of Sangeet's diverse abilities came to me when his father Mr. Sharma had moved to Bangalore as Chief Architect, Department of Space. The former would regularly send me his poems for advice. The frequency of his outpourings made me open an independent file called Correspondence with Sangeet Sharma.

By and by, I learnt about his interest in instrumental music, martial arts, and singing. This contact was somewhat attenuated when he went to Lucknow for studying architecture. Lucknow spelt for his LUCK-NOW-he had now the luck not only to earn his B. Arch. Degree but also to woo pretty Purnima and marry her. Our communication regained strength when Sangeet joined his father's firm, SD Sharma & Associates-the firm that his father had launched in his house after taking voluntary retirement from service for more important overseas assignments.

When he invited me to speak on the occasion of the release of his book Architectural Aesthetics, I shed all my sentiments to look at Sangeet's activities and achievements critically. It goes to his credit that he injected a new vigour into our relationship by keeping me abreast of all that he has been doing. Noticing my renewed interest in his work, Sangeet mentioned to me about his present book, saying that he plans to launch it this year and somewhat hesitatingly, asked if I would be willing to write a foreword for it.

Sangeet Sharma's canvas is very wide, his observations insightful, and choice of topics very thoughtful. His style is conversational, often bordering on the lyrical, such as one that makes the writer palpably present to the reader. The contents of the book testify to the fact that Sangeet has acquired an impressive body of knowledge from wide reading, encounters, interactions, travels, talks, and first-hand appreciation of outstanding art-works in fields ranging from novels, poetry and music to sculpture, painting, architecture, metaphysics, scriptures, etc. Despite their vast diversity, all the topics he has written on are charged with earnestness and excitement of sharing with his readers, particularly students of architecture, the fascinating truths he has himself discovered, such as now stand corroborated by the creative works of many artists and architects. At any rate, by auto-didacticism, Sangeet has absorbed an amazing wealth of information concerning diverse fields of human endeavour.

The way he expresses his gratitude towards teachers (especially of architecture) his parents, his spiritual gurus, and other prominent personages, comes as a timely exhortation to the next generation who unmindfully rejoices in its relentless waywardness in the name of personal liberty. When one looks at Sangeet Sharma, he strikes one as a tall, handsome, soft-spoken and a cultured gentleman. His persona gives no hint of the fire in his heart, and the upsurge to use architecture of buildings to transform the architecture of the human body, mind and soul. Since it comes from his own transformative experience, the impressionable readers will surely be persuaded to consider adopting his view and way of life that is garnished with an impressive creative versatility.

Sangeet Sharma's section-titles are little reminders, which prompt an ideal pursuance of life through architecture or pursuance of architecture through life. The approach, ideal experience, and realization are the same for both. They are not preachments; they leave a sense of stilled singing in the mind they fill. The writing is simple in expression and insightful in its depth. This architectural excursion of the author is a personal achievement. It is guided by knowledge of his passions and preferences, acquired during an unbroken intimacy of almost twenty years, with the practice, teaching, and writing of the noble profession of architecture.

Inspired and acquired through his various talks with students in India and abroad, the author has, in very plain sentences, conglomerated the patterns of life with the spacio-formal mosaic of architecture. He embarks on the lyrical journey of experiencing poetry, fine arts, music, and architecture and their relationship with many tangible and intangible elements of design. He affirms that, by assembling outer spaces, one can realize the deeper; levels of the inner mind and vice versa.

This, thus, is an imaginative delineation of a road-map for holistic living in which life establishes its own validity as a miracle (birth), an adventure (life-span), and a mystery (death). The journey that it chalks out is guided by the cold splendour of truth, leading to a realm where a nucleic destination of Gnosticism beckons the earnest seeker.

I am convinced that Architecture, Life and Me will soon and many such seekers.

On the basis of my intimate knowledge of the author's commitment to architecture and his wonderful literary work, I can now venture into some soothsaying. This book, Architecture, Life and Me, promises to be a best seller in the area of architectural writing. Both the comprehensiveness of its contents and the author's engaging way of story-telling, in combination with its technical perfection without the use of jargon, are its exceptionally strong selling points. Students and teachers of architecture and allied disciplines would benefit from this offbeat oeuvre by way of a renewed outlook on art of architectural writing!

Preface

Twenty years is quite some time to understand one's profession. While foraying into the humdrum of the practice and dabbling in occasional writings, it dawned on me to create a book primarily for my understanding. This is a culmination of many years of thoughts and musings that kept me bound to the profession of architecture.

It was basically through self-learnt effort…a lesion learnt by getting kicked around occasionally. Every things has to be learnt at the grass-root level and there is no shortcut to it. Finding the new meaning of a line or a form, it emerged that architecture is probably most akin to life itself. Life and architecture can teach each other similar lesions. For me 'A' is for Architecture as it is through this work that I take my breath and it is this work that takes my breath away.

I wish the readers, particularly the students, a very happy learning experience and hope they learn that life and architecture are one. The principles of this profession are simple and crystal clear and can be understood by all sensitive human beings.

Back of the Book

Architecture, Life and Me is one man's journey discovering the many facets of life through the practice of architecture. Garnished with elegant sketches and interesting snippets of information about the art of architecture, the author shares his formative encounters with this field, while he takes a trip down memory lance, exploring all arts and their tangible and intangible relationship with design. Crossing the boundaries between architecture, other arts and semi-preachment, simple essays conjoin to candid memoir that captures the beauty, soul and inspiration of architecture.

Sangeet Sharma is a practicing architect in Chandigarh. He has designed many prestigious projects and has won numerous awards in the profession. He has authored three books – Architectural Aesthetics. Step by Step Hospital Designing and Planning and a collection of poems titled The Touch of Moon.

Contents

Forewordix
Prefacexiii
Acknowledgementsxv
The Journey Beings in Chandigarh1
Lucknow and Learning18
Father, Mother and I30
How to Read a Building37
On Writing44
Temples and the South Indian Sojourn51
Louis Kahn-Poetic Constructions63
Books-The Best Friends69
Appreciating Intangible Spaces73
Music and its Divine Influence80
The Sacred Geometry of Life87
The Place of Poetry91
The Practising of Architecture95
Drawing108
Courage and Subjectivity113
The House We Life In119
The Magic of Movies124
Writings of Gautam Bhatia127
Teaching Architecture133
Michelangelo-The Sculpted Poet137
Architectural Aesthetics Revisited142
My Architecture and Me149
Epilogue156
Glossary160
Bibliography163

Architecture Life and Me

Item Code:
IDK687
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2008
ISBN:
9788129113771
Size:
8.4" X 5.4"
Pages:
182 (33 B/W Figure Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 215 gms
Price:
$16.50   Shipping Free
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Foreword

When I asked the legendary Dr Mulk Raj Anand to write a foreword for my anthology of poems-Psychic Shadows, published in 1991, he replied in his letter dated 23 June 1990 from Bombay:

Dear Young poet :

I do not like writing forewords. Such words before a book by a new writer are likely to seem patronizing! So I always add afterwords.

Even these would not have been necessary, if I had not read your introduction and preface.

Sangeet Sharma's request to me to write a foreword for his book Architecture, Life and Me made me sit up, recollect, and contemplate Dr Anand's marvelous words. After much cogitation, I figured out that there is another side to a foreword. It needn't always be a marketing ploy for a new writer's book. When done dispassionately, a foreword may well be an insightful preview of such a work, evocative enough to persuade others to give it the serious attention that it deserves.

I have known Sangeet Sharma ever since he was a young child. To this comes my knowledge of his illustrious parents, at SD Sharma and Mrs Geeta Sharma, whose personal acquaintance I made way back in 1961. A more active understanding of Sangeet's diverse abilities came to me when his father Mr. Sharma had moved to Bangalore as Chief Architect, Department of Space. The former would regularly send me his poems for advice. The frequency of his outpourings made me open an independent file called Correspondence with Sangeet Sharma.

By and by, I learnt about his interest in instrumental music, martial arts, and singing. This contact was somewhat attenuated when he went to Lucknow for studying architecture. Lucknow spelt for his LUCK-NOW-he had now the luck not only to earn his B. Arch. Degree but also to woo pretty Purnima and marry her. Our communication regained strength when Sangeet joined his father's firm, SD Sharma & Associates-the firm that his father had launched in his house after taking voluntary retirement from service for more important overseas assignments.

When he invited me to speak on the occasion of the release of his book Architectural Aesthetics, I shed all my sentiments to look at Sangeet's activities and achievements critically. It goes to his credit that he injected a new vigour into our relationship by keeping me abreast of all that he has been doing. Noticing my renewed interest in his work, Sangeet mentioned to me about his present book, saying that he plans to launch it this year and somewhat hesitatingly, asked if I would be willing to write a foreword for it.

Sangeet Sharma's canvas is very wide, his observations insightful, and choice of topics very thoughtful. His style is conversational, often bordering on the lyrical, such as one that makes the writer palpably present to the reader. The contents of the book testify to the fact that Sangeet has acquired an impressive body of knowledge from wide reading, encounters, interactions, travels, talks, and first-hand appreciation of outstanding art-works in fields ranging from novels, poetry and music to sculpture, painting, architecture, metaphysics, scriptures, etc. Despite their vast diversity, all the topics he has written on are charged with earnestness and excitement of sharing with his readers, particularly students of architecture, the fascinating truths he has himself discovered, such as now stand corroborated by the creative works of many artists and architects. At any rate, by auto-didacticism, Sangeet has absorbed an amazing wealth of information concerning diverse fields of human endeavour.

The way he expresses his gratitude towards teachers (especially of architecture) his parents, his spiritual gurus, and other prominent personages, comes as a timely exhortation to the next generation who unmindfully rejoices in its relentless waywardness in the name of personal liberty. When one looks at Sangeet Sharma, he strikes one as a tall, handsome, soft-spoken and a cultured gentleman. His persona gives no hint of the fire in his heart, and the upsurge to use architecture of buildings to transform the architecture of the human body, mind and soul. Since it comes from his own transformative experience, the impressionable readers will surely be persuaded to consider adopting his view and way of life that is garnished with an impressive creative versatility.

Sangeet Sharma's section-titles are little reminders, which prompt an ideal pursuance of life through architecture or pursuance of architecture through life. The approach, ideal experience, and realization are the same for both. They are not preachments; they leave a sense of stilled singing in the mind they fill. The writing is simple in expression and insightful in its depth. This architectural excursion of the author is a personal achievement. It is guided by knowledge of his passions and preferences, acquired during an unbroken intimacy of almost twenty years, with the practice, teaching, and writing of the noble profession of architecture.

Inspired and acquired through his various talks with students in India and abroad, the author has, in very plain sentences, conglomerated the patterns of life with the spacio-formal mosaic of architecture. He embarks on the lyrical journey of experiencing poetry, fine arts, music, and architecture and their relationship with many tangible and intangible elements of design. He affirms that, by assembling outer spaces, one can realize the deeper; levels of the inner mind and vice versa.

This, thus, is an imaginative delineation of a road-map for holistic living in which life establishes its own validity as a miracle (birth), an adventure (life-span), and a mystery (death). The journey that it chalks out is guided by the cold splendour of truth, leading to a realm where a nucleic destination of Gnosticism beckons the earnest seeker.

I am convinced that Architecture, Life and Me will soon and many such seekers.

On the basis of my intimate knowledge of the author's commitment to architecture and his wonderful literary work, I can now venture into some soothsaying. This book, Architecture, Life and Me, promises to be a best seller in the area of architectural writing. Both the comprehensiveness of its contents and the author's engaging way of story-telling, in combination with its technical perfection without the use of jargon, are its exceptionally strong selling points. Students and teachers of architecture and allied disciplines would benefit from this offbeat oeuvre by way of a renewed outlook on art of architectural writing!

Preface

Twenty years is quite some time to understand one's profession. While foraying into the humdrum of the practice and dabbling in occasional writings, it dawned on me to create a book primarily for my understanding. This is a culmination of many years of thoughts and musings that kept me bound to the profession of architecture.

It was basically through self-learnt effort…a lesion learnt by getting kicked around occasionally. Every things has to be learnt at the grass-root level and there is no shortcut to it. Finding the new meaning of a line or a form, it emerged that architecture is probably most akin to life itself. Life and architecture can teach each other similar lesions. For me 'A' is for Architecture as it is through this work that I take my breath and it is this work that takes my breath away.

I wish the readers, particularly the students, a very happy learning experience and hope they learn that life and architecture are one. The principles of this profession are simple and crystal clear and can be understood by all sensitive human beings.

Back of the Book

Architecture, Life and Me is one man's journey discovering the many facets of life through the practice of architecture. Garnished with elegant sketches and interesting snippets of information about the art of architecture, the author shares his formative encounters with this field, while he takes a trip down memory lance, exploring all arts and their tangible and intangible relationship with design. Crossing the boundaries between architecture, other arts and semi-preachment, simple essays conjoin to candid memoir that captures the beauty, soul and inspiration of architecture.

Sangeet Sharma is a practicing architect in Chandigarh. He has designed many prestigious projects and has won numerous awards in the profession. He has authored three books – Architectural Aesthetics. Step by Step Hospital Designing and Planning and a collection of poems titled The Touch of Moon.

Contents

Forewordix
Prefacexiii
Acknowledgementsxv
The Journey Beings in Chandigarh1
Lucknow and Learning18
Father, Mother and I30
How to Read a Building37
On Writing44
Temples and the South Indian Sojourn51
Louis Kahn-Poetic Constructions63
Books-The Best Friends69
Appreciating Intangible Spaces73
Music and its Divine Influence80
The Sacred Geometry of Life87
The Place of Poetry91
The Practising of Architecture95
Drawing108
Courage and Subjectivity113
The House We Life In119
The Magic of Movies124
Writings of Gautam Bhatia127
Teaching Architecture133
Michelangelo-The Sculpted Poet137
Architectural Aesthetics Revisited142
My Architecture and Me149
Epilogue156
Glossary160
Bibliography163
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