Chandigarh.

Clean air.

Open, clear roads.

Open boulevards, clear vistas, clean, straight avenues, clean lines on white modernist buildings. Designed, not evolved. In Kolkata we were met by white-kurtured concierge, black boots, red turban. In Delhi we were greeted at the hotel by a man in a red turban, but in a black Kurta and with a fabulous curling moustache. At Chandigarh, the concierge looks ultra-modern in what appears to be a combat shirt and baseball cap. The courtesy, the warmth, is the same. In the hotel lobby we hear not the twang and gulp of sitar and tabla but the soapy ooze of soul-jazz. No more the cortical whorls and grooves of Kolkata, it’s hive-like streets, with buildings and businesses packed tight and uneven as boxes in a cupboard, neither the palatial government buildings, majestic parks, pillared colonnades of New Delhi, but pale, rectilinear blocks, spaciously and evenly distributed. Le Corbusier, who planned the layout and much of the architecture of Chandigarh, famously stated that houses we’re “machines for living in”. So, what does it feel like to live in a machine?  I’ll get back to you.

G ;{~

To look at some photos of my trip so far go to Further Adventures in Pictures

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