Theme described for the Competition was - 'The Lost Social Sustainability'
Let us look back at the times when human beings started living in permanent settlements along with community members, depending on each other for survival. They worked on the same road, met at nearby temples, their women congregated at the community well or hand-pumps and their children played freely on streets, with no sense of harm as their grandmas sitting over verandah cots watched over them. All had a sense of ownership that was communal and they could quickly identify anti-social elements.
Times have changed.
Now cars are seen all around, all day long, until the cities sleep. People want to get out of congested streets; there are those who are displaced in the name of redevelopment and rehabilitation. And then, there are those third kinds who move to the periphery to form gated enclaves, where physical barriers are high, allowing only incidental social exchanges. Those living in gated enclaves have higher living standards, but they live with a fear of being robbed or killed at any moment. As streets stay empty, neighbors remain strangers, kids do not play outside and grandma has nobody to talk to, neither her cot any space. The Architectural Poetry Cycle calls for an exploration into this lost realm of 'Social Sustainability' - a lost world.
The 'Citation Award' goes to Srividya Sivakumar
Since when did we become a line and not a circle
A pillar and not an arch
Why aren't we ashlar instead of wrecking ball
What happened to the stepwell meetings and handpump laughter
Each bracket in our life is not mere ornamentation; it is the buttress
of our existence
Where is the ‘social’ in social distancing and is it really a new thing
Seems like we've always been withdrawn
from w t r
Withdrawn into polycarbonate shells of indifference and intolerance
Withdrawn from camaraderie, we seek coincidences
Devoid of delight, we dwell in dovecotes of dejection
And we wonder. We constantly wonder. Not about the stars and the tides,
but about loneliness.
About how we become a line and not a circle.
This is how the water recedes
Start with a village.
No, start with a river.
And a house and intrepid travellers.
A chicken coop and fields of shimmering green gold.
Spread your arms wider.
Take in the family that moves in. And friends.
That house becomes a community.
That field becomes a kibbutz.
You and me become us, them, they, we.
Spread your arms wider. But hold on to your heart.
It's one bad year. And then a few more.
People leave. Just for a while. Or so they say.
The while becomes a whole lot of time.
The kibbutz is kaput.
The dreams, concretised.
There's silence in the river.
Even the fish have moved on.
The 'Special Mention Award' goes to Diana Webb
Building of the Moment
There was a beauty in the trees. The way the branches interlaced, formed wooden arches, As a little boy he'd sat beneath them, loved their symmetry, the way the bark could shine in green or gold or copper. And now he crafts a new design. A place where everybody young or old or married single trans or gay could sit and sip a honeyed drink while reading haiku carved along the rafters, in the wooden floorboards, bringing moons and stars and flowers and rain and snow to dance together in the air where voices joined in unison to share the poems with each other.
paint for each window
distilled from birdsong
The structure of her DNA. She often wonders. In her dreams the double helix reaches up and out just like a balsam seed when popped rears up its spiralled inner structure. Her great great grandad was an architect and staircase winding into staircase throws itself on to the surface of the ground on which she walks.
crystal ball awhirl with auras
Certificate of Appreciation_1: Mahima Jagadeesh
Singing cheery days of a town
“Hi Aunty! Can I have some sugar? “
I asked to her with a heart sweeter
Giving away a warm smile and a sweet greet.
Passing on the sweetness to our milkman,
Who never fails to cheer up every other man.
Happiness was to see the beauty of Rangoli,
In front of every other home, also when
Ladies exchanged recipes, so mouth watering
Just to the ears even before cooking a curry
I waved at my friend, both in a hurry
Headed to our school, just a walk away,
“Bye, granny”, I said to her.
Sitting on her cot, waved back higher.
Pets never tied around neck,
That let free to connect,
With their fellows and jump with glee.
The day shined through
As one’s coffee & conversations brew
We returned like birds chirping
To paint our evenings with smiles energizing
Playtime was a matter of fearlessness
And freedom, a feeling so pure
It was the time for storytelling
By grandma’s expressing
Their heart and soul out
To all the folks around
The opened doors that invited
Neighbors keeping them connected
And so did the balconies and terraces
Today, as I sit inside my home
With all these thoughts in a race
I pity my grandchildren
For having a social life,
So technologically driven
It’s now a dream to talk
To the neighbors and go on a walk
We no longer feel safe outside
Living in our own dens
Feeling socially lost inside.
Certificate of Appreciation_2: Jagriti Bhowmik
Floating clouds in autumnal sky,
tickle the memories decades ago.
A turfy green around, chirping of birds,
blooming Frangipani and a stone gazebo.
As if I could still hear
Cheerfully playing children,
Whispering young lasses,
Few sweet proposals denied in fear.
When the sun is ready to set,
The northern breeze brings darks fragrance,
Some elderlies would gather to debate
on politics, sports, culture or some reminiscence.
I’ve witnessed many sunny feasts,
bonfires till late night and evening parties.
Now, all these have been a long past,
With progression of time, everything has changed so fast.
The turf has turned to bushes,
Cracks have engulfed the dome.
Creepers have covered the steps,
The squinches are now spiders’ home.
I miss the footfall of people,
their laughter, shouts and presence.
I’m a pillar of this gazebo,
standing perplexed in remains.
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